A new police initiative to motivate Virginia motorists to wear safety belts began yesterday. Continuing through the week, the campaign will have police paying extra attention to drivers not wearing seat belts.
Sunday marked the beginning of a new “Click-it-or-Ticket” initiative by state and local police to enforce Virginia’s seat belt law. According to State police, 307 unbuckled drivers and passengers died in traffic accidents across the state in 2010. Through October 31 of this year, there have been 257 fatalities.
Not wearing a seatbelt is a secondary offense, meaning that a driver cannot be pulled over and issued a ticket solely for refusing to wear a seat belt. However, for example, should a driver be pulled over for a traffic or speeding violation, an officer can issue a ticket for failing to wear a safety belt as an additional charge. According to the DMV, tickets can also be issued if “front seat passengers are riding unbuckled or if persons under age 18 are not properly restrained.” Drivers who do not wear a seat belt are five times more likely to die in a car crash and three times more likely to sustain serious injuries.
Police will be more attentive to whether seat belts are being worn by Virginia motorists. The week-long effort is being done to encourage drivers to wear seat belts.
photo by thomascrenshaw