"Click it or Ticket" Night Patrols Begin in Yakima County
Selah, WASH - Night patrols for the "Click it or Ticket" campaign have started in Yakima County. It's a part of a statewide effort to reduce vehicle occupant fatalities at night. Wednesday night the Selah Police Department was on their first patrol of the campaign. One of the officers was on the street, acting as an observer, looking at passing cars to see if the driver and passesngers were buckled up. Once the observer saw someone without a seatbelt on, he would radio to contact officers who pullover the car. If caught not wearing your seatbelt, drivers will face a $112 fine.
"You know if the goal is education, you want people to stop doing what they're doing and drive the way they're supposed to. Technically if everyone is driving the way they should, that reduces collisions," says Eric Steen of the Selah Police Department.
There was over 2,000 vehicle occupant deaths in Washington from 2001 to 2005. Half of those were at night, which is four to five times higher than the day, since traffic volumes are far less during the night.
From 2005 to 2006 only 15% of seat belt tickets were written at night. Washington may not be giving out the most tickets however, as surveys show 96% percent of drivers buckle up in the state.
Police also say you can still pay a fine if you don't wear your seat belt properly. The upper strap must be across your chest and not under your arm or behind you.