‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign targets seat belt use

Ninety-five percent of Washington drivers and passengers use their seat belts, according to a new report from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

That leaves only 5 percent of people who might be subject to seat belt tickets during the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign.

A statewide extra seat belt enforcement campaign runs through June 3 — including Memorial Day, one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends of the year.

More than 150 law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be participating in this 17th-annual Click it or Ticket campaign.

In Clallam and Jefferson Counties, the Sequim, Port Angeles and Port Townsend Police Departments, the Clallam County and Jefferson County and Sheriff’s Offices and the Washington State Patrol will be placing special emphasis on seat belt and proper child restraint use.

In conjunction with the Click it or Ticket campaign, a national seat belt enforcement effort called Border to Border will take place on from 4-8 p.m. Monday, May 21.

Washington state legislators passed a secondary seat belt law in 1986 and the seat belt use rate that year was 36 percent. In the following years, Washington’s seat belt use rate rose and by 2002 the rate was 82 percent. In 2002, legislators passed a primary seat belt law and the seat belt use rate rose to 92 percent the very next year.

The seat belt use rate has remained between 94-95 percent for the last several years. During the same time periods, the unrestrained fatality rate decreased dramatically from accounting for 64 percent of all traffic deaths to 18 percent of all traffic deaths.