Police release Click It or Ticket patrol totals

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

Local law enforcement agencies have released totals from extra patrols they conducted to boost seat belt use during the Memorial Day holiday period.

The Jasper Police Department, Dubois County Sheriff’s Office, Huntingburg Police Department and Indiana State Police were among more than 230 Hoosier law enforcement agencies joining what was a national mobilization May 20 through June 2. The overtime and highly visible traffic patrols were supported with federal traffic-safety funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

Jasper officers worked 41 hours of overtime and made 112 traffic stops as part of the national “Click It or Ticket” mobilization. Officers issued 92 written warnings, wrote 53 tickets and made three arrests during the period, according to Assistant Chief Aaron Persohn.

Sheriff’s deputies report issuing 20 citations connected to Click It or Ticket. Huntingburg officers wrote 23 citations during the 24-day extra patrol period and made two arrests.

The totals for state police at the Jasper Post included 83 hours of overtime and 128 citations issued. Troopers also issued 131 warnings.

High-visibility enforcement such as the Click It or Ticket mobilization is credited with increasing the national seat belt usage rate.

“We enforce seat belts and other traffic laws to protect the lives of our community members on the road,” Persohn said. “With the summer travel season now underway, remember to always buckle up — every trip, every time — and use a sober driver.”

Police say the small number of Hoosier motorists — 6.6% — who still don’t buckle up make up more than half of roadway deaths.

Male drivers, particularly those age 15-44, are the least likely to be buckled during a crash, according to authorities. Injury rates among unrestrained motorists are also higher in rural counties, when a driver is speeding or impaired and on weekend nights between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Police say their focus is on enforcing seat-belt laws in cars and trucks, for both children and adults, in the front seat and back, both day and night.

During a crash, officers report, unrestrained passengers can become projectiles that injure or kill others in the car.

Police say parents who don’t buckle themselves up are more likely to have unbuckled kids. That means one ticket for the driver and one for each unrestrained child under 16.
Children under age 8 must be properly restrained in child car seats or booster seats.

Traffic crashes are a leading killer of children ages 1 to 13. Police note the back seat is the safest place for children under 13 to ride.

Indiana law requires the driver and all passengers to buckle up.

Seat belt tips from the Click It or Ticket agencies advise:

• Secure lap belts across your hips and pelvis, below your stomach.

• Place a shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and rib cage, away from your neck.

• Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.

• If your seat belt doesn’t fit you or you have an older car with lap belts only, ask your dealer or vehicle manufacturer about seat-belt adjustments, extenders or retrofits.

• Speak up when friends or family members do not buckle up. One life lost is too many, so don’t leave any of your loved ones behind.




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