Starting Friday, Missouri State Highway Patrol officers will begin a fierce “Click It Or Ticket” campaign.
The efforts of Troop F, whose jurisdiction includes Boone County, will contribute to a statewide campaign that plans to mobilize more motorists and occupants to buckle up while riding in any type of motor vehicle, according to a Missouri Department of Transportation news release.
Click It Or Ticket is a national campaign created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration designed to increase the national use of safety belts.
The campaign sticks true to its name. Those caught riding in a motor vehicle without a fastened seatbelt will be ticketed for a fine with fees ranging from state to state.
Statistics reveal that one in four motorists in Missouri do not fasten their seat belts. According to preliminary statistics from 2012, nearly 64 percent of individuals killed on Missouri’s roadways did not “click it." Most of these motorists are teens, according to the Missouri Safety Center website. Only 66.3 percent of teen motorists choose to fasten their seat belts, a number lower than the statewide seatbelt usage of 79 percent.
According to the release, Troop F Capt. Gregory D. Kindle announced the campaign in hopes that it will save the lives of more motorists.
Patrol officers will now have to add another focus when patrolling traffic. If a motorist is caught without a fastened seatbelt, a ticket will be issued with a zero-tolerance policy, which is a standard procedure for the national campaign.
In a “Trooper Talk” released in 2012, Sgt. Paul Reinsch of Troop F encouraged drivers to “Click It 4 Life” to ensure protection from hazardous drivers.
The campaign might require officers to work longer hours or spend more time scouting for unfastened seat belts. The Missouri Department of Transportation gives overtime enforcement grants for the positive countermeasure, according to the Missouri Safety Center’s website.
Still, the hard work by patrol officers will pay off when it saves lives, Kindle said.
“We will strictly enforce the wearing of seat belts," Kindle said. "This simple task of buckling up can — and will — save lives.”