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Law Enforcement Line Up For Click It or Ticket Project

Law enforcement officers from this area will be joining their counterparts from across the state and across the United States in a major campaign to get people to wear their seat belts. Called the “Click It or Ticket” Project, enforcement efforts begin May 20.

Over 100 law enforcement agencies are involved statewide and at least 400 extra law enforcement officers will be patrolling for seat belt law violators under this new project. $500,000 in federal funding is being passed along to local law enforcement agencies to pay for officer overtime for the project.

In addition, $500,000 in air time is being purchased for a statewide media blitz to advertise the project.

Radio commercials began airing May 6, which feature the heads of law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The Sheriffs, Police Chiefs and local Washington State Patrol Captains are on the radio airwaves reminding people that they can either buckle, or pay up, “Click it or ticket.”

“You pay one way or the other. You pay with an $86 seat belt citation, or you pay with your life in an automobile collision. A ticket is the smaller price to pay,” said John Moffat, Washington Traffic Safety Commission Director.

Moffat says he is hopeful that the Click it or Ticket Project will increase seat belt use rates, along with a new primary enforcement seat belt law, which takes effect June 13. He believes that together these changes will save at least 30 lives, prevent 900 serious injuries and spare the state $51 million in unnecessary hospital costs.

“Everyone benefits when people buckle up,” Moffat said.

Most people wear their seat belts in Washington, 82%, but the use rates have remained the same over the last six years. Seat belt use has been required under Washington law since 1986.

Research shows that a seat belt increases a person's chance of surviving a collision by up to 70%. This means that a person wearing a seat belt has a 70% better chance of surviving a collision than someone who is not buckled up.

About 630 people die each year on Washington's roads.

Some people think that they don't need to wear a seat belt because they have an air bag, but just the opposite is true. An airbag can kill an unbuckled person. A teenage driver in Yakima was killed in a fender bender collision when her air bag deployed. She was not buckled up and the air bag slammed her head against her vehicle door.

Medical costs from collisions amount to about $276 million each year in Washington. Your tax dollars pay 30% of that price tag. An unbelted driver's medical costs average $11,000 more than those of a seat belted driver.

A seat belt ticket costs $86 and a driver can be ticketed for every unbuckled passenger in his car who is under age 16. Passengers age 16 and older can be given their own seat belt ticket, even if they are not driving.

For Further Information Contact:

Jonna VanDyk, Angie Ward or Les Pope at the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (360) 753-6197.

"Share the Road" Bus - In Memory of Cooper Jones

Help raise awareness of bikes and pedestrians on the streets of your community. Find out how to get a "Cooper Bus" in your town. Contact Lynn Drake at (360) 586-3484

Further information contact: School Zones - Lynn Drake, Washington Traffic Safety Commission Program Manager(360) 586-3484 or; Booster Seats - Angie Ward, Washington Traffic Safety Commission Program Manager (360) 753-0877 or


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