JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

State of Alabama Launches
"Click It or Ticket" Campaign

Montgomery, Alabama, May 16, 2003 – From Monday, May 19 through Sunday, June 1, state and local law enforcement officials plan to establish hundreds of patrols and checkpoints statewide as part of the Click It or Ticket (CIOT) seat belt awareness and enforcement program. Drivers and front-seat passengers not wearing seat belts and those not having their children properly restrained will be ticketed immediately.

The Click It or Ticket campaign is designed to increase seat belt usage in Alabama from 79 to 85 percent. There’s a $25 fine if you’re caught driving without your seat belt or if you’re a passenger in the front seat and you’re not buckled up. There’s a $10 fine if children aren’t properly restrained in a car seat or wearing seat belts.

“We’re interested in saving lives and reducing injuries on Alabama highways and especially in rural areas where most fatalities occur,” said James F. Quinn, acting division director of law enforcement and traffic safety for the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).

“By implementing the Click It or Ticket Campaign for a third year, we are able to take a hands-on approach to make certain Alabamians are following the law and acting responsibly. We want to make sure Alabama’s roads are as safe as possible.”

According to the most recent statistics, approximately 5,867 people were injured or killed in Alabama traffic accidents in 2001 because they were not wearing seat belts. There were a total of 112 teen fatalities in the state. Sixty-nine teenagers died because they weren’t wearing seat belts. That’s 60 percent of the total number of teen fatalities. Nationally, teens face the greatest risk of any age group of being injured or killed in traffic accidents.

According to the results from last year’s Alabama CIOT program, women wore their seat belts 91 percent of the time while men wore them only 68 percent of the time. Caucasians fasten their seat belts 78 percent of the time, African-Americans buckle up 76 percent of the time and Hispanics wear seat belts 71 percent of the time.

“Our zero-tolerance policy is firm,” said Colonel W. M. Coppage, director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety. “This program is about saving lives and preventing life-long disabilities. By issuing tickets, not warnings, we will be able to protect as many people as possible.” In 2002, Alabama’s CIOT enforcement program included 800 checkpoints with more than 13,000 seat belt citations handed out along with over 300 child restraint citations.

Click It or Ticket is a partnership between Governor Bob Riley, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the Alabama Department of Public Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Regional Community Traffic Safety Programs and municipal and county law enforcement agencies.

For more information, visit www.clickit-or-ticket.com and www.buckleupamerica.org.

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