It’s click it or ticket season, and today, departments across the Ohio Valley are cracking down on drivers and passengers that are not buckled up.
The Ohio Highway Patrol, Ohio County Sheriffs, and the Wheeling Police Department will be looking for drivers not wearing their seat belts from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Wheeling Police will be working on Wheeling Island, an area of the city where Sergeant Josh Sanders says there are many seat belt violations.
The Ohio County Sheriffs will have a seat belt checkpoint on Ridgecrest Road on Route 88 near the substation.
Troopers with the Ohio State Highway patrol will have extra patrols on the interstate also looking for people not buckled up.
Those officers say they have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to warnings, it’s just that important.
“Out of 591 contacts, car stops, we had 46 citations issued, which was a surprise because as long as this law has been in effect, people are still not wearing their seat belts,” said Ohio County Sheriff Tom Howard.
“When you look at the number of fatal traffic crashes that we’ve had in Ohio, which was just over 1,000 last year, and you think about the fact that 66% of those that died in those crashes were not wearing a seat belt, it’s something that’s very preventable,” said Lt. James Faunda, commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol St. Clairsville post.
The ‘Border to Border Seat Belt initiative’ is actually going on across the nation today, just ahead of summer travel beginning with Memorial Day weekend.
Those officers say seat belts save lives, so if you know a friend or family member who does not buckle up, tell them to start today.