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Belts save money, help nab baddies

The Sequim Police Department and the Washington State Patrol will be conducting extra seat belt patrols during the nighttime hours from May 24-June 6 as part of the statewide Click It or Ticket mobilization.

The Click It or Ticket patrols moved to nighttime in 2007 because the traffic death rate at night is four times higher.

New research on Washington's seatbelt patrols found that, compared to people who drive during the day with their seat belt on, nighttime unbuckled drivers are:

_ Three times as likely to have a felony record

_ Twice as likely to have a criminal record for offenses that involve violence

_ Three times as likely to have a DUI on their record

_ More than twice as likely to have a negligent or reckless driving violation on their driving record

The research was conducted through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Click it or Ticket Project and the primary enforcement seat belt law resulted in a 21-percent drop in vehicle occupant deaths, from an average of 518 from 1995-2002, to an average of 410 from 2003-2009. For more information, see www.wtsc.wa.gov.

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