Holiday brings ‘click it or ticket’

It’s Click It or Ticket time again for the Wilton Police Department.

Memorial Day weekend marks the peak of the department’s annual campaign to enforce the laws against driving without a seatbelt. Extra enforcement has been on the road since May 21 and will continue through June 3, concurrent with the busy holiday weekend travel period.

“Buckling up is such a simple task that can keep you and your family safe in the car,” said Lt. Rob Kluk, spokesman for the department.

But it’s more than safety, he said. It can be a matter of life or death in an accident.

“Our law enforcement personnel see the consequences of not buckling up. We see the loss of life. Often, it could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt. This should be automatic,” he said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half, 48%, of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016, the last year for which figures were available, wore no seat belts. The number soared to 56% of those killed in the nighttime hours.

That’s why one focus of the campaign is nighttime enforcement. Officers will be writing tickets day and night.

In Connecticut, the maximum fine for a seat belt violation is $98.

“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits,” Kluk said in a statement. “Help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction.”