Michigan seat belt crackdown underway

Michigan

FILE – In this May 15, 2008, file photo, motorists sit in a Chicago traffic jam. More than 800 rear-seat passengers who weren’t wearing seat belts were killed in 2018 in U.S. traffic crashes, and states aren’t making enough progress in getting people to buckle up, the Governors Highway Safety Association says in a report released Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS/WOOD) — Law enforcement agencies around Michigan are launching a three-week push to remind people to wear their seat belts.

The Click It or Ticket crackdown began Monday and runs through June 6. Local police departments, sheriff’s offices and Michigan State Police are working together to emphasize the importance of buckling up.

Under state law, drivers, front-seat passengers, and passengers 15 and younger — no matter where they’re sitting — must buckle up. Breaking the rules will cost you $65. Children under the age of 8 or shorter than 4-foot-9 should be in a car seat or booster seat. Kids under the age of 4 must ride in the back seat.

The state says that in 2019, 217 people killed in crashes in Michigan were not wearing seat belts. Still, Michiganders do well in wearing their seat belts — the state says data shows about 94% of people were regularly using their seat belts in 2019. The national rate for the same year was a little less than 91%.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says wearing that when people in the front seat wear their seat belt, their chances of serious injury or death in a crash drop by 45%.

“Wearing a seat belt is the easiest and most effective thing you can do to reduce injuries and save lives. Buckle up every trip, every time,” Michigan OHSP Director Michael Prince said in a release.

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