The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Traffic Safety Partnership (which includes the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and the Evansville Police Department) and the Indiana State Police will be participating in a statewide “Click It or Ticket” Seatbelt Enforcement Blitz beginning today.
This high-visibility enforcement effort, also known as Operation Pull Over Blitz #94, will run from May 11 through June 03. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Indiana’s seat-belt law. Since that time, Indiana – along with 34 other states – has enacted a primary seat-belt law, meaning that law enforcement can pull you over for being unbuckled. Last year, more than 240 law-enforcement agencies performed 8,728 hours of traffic patrols and issued more than 30,000 citations or warnings, of which about 13,700 were seat-belt and child-restraint citations.
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) recently observed that popular TV shows and books often focus on violent crime investigation, ignoring the reality that police are actually more likely to investigate serious traffic crashes. Statistically, you are more likely to suffer property damage, personal injured or be killed in a traffic crash than be a victim of burglary, violent crime or murder.
According to the Purdue University Center for Road Safety, between 2000 to 2017 seat-belt usage increased from 62 to 93 percent in Indiana. While Indiana has made great progress, the small percentage who still don’t buckle up make up nearly half of those killed on our roadways. In 2016, there were 10,428 unbuckled motorists killed in crashes in the United States.
This May, law enforcement will be specifically looking for seatbelt and child safety seat violations. No warnings will be given. Increased traffic safety enforcement is made possible by funding provided by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) through a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).