Traffic deaths are up in Wisconsin this year according to the state Bureau of Transportation and Capt. Scott McConnell says in many of those cases, passengers and drivers may have survived if they had been belted in.
"One of the worst aspects of an officers job is making a notification to a family member that one of their loved ones has been seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident," McConnell said.
To help save lives and prevent injuries, officers will stop a vehicle and issue tickets whenever they see a driver or passenger not wearing a safety belt during Click it or Ticket, a statewide initiative beginning today and running through June 3.
"I believe it is not a personal choice as some may think it should be when others are involved as a result of their poor decision," McConnell said. "Many accident related deaths and injuries can be prevented by simply taking the extra second to buckle up. Remember, it's the law."
Last year set an all-time high with 120,000 convictions in Wisconsin for failure to fasten safety belts. Amid all other traffic citations, safety belts only came second to speeding.
The is also participating with more than 300 other departments across Wisconsin. Chief Tom Czaja said the statistics show that there's no reason not to wear a seat belt.
"Wearing a seat belt costs you nothing, but not wearing it could cost you a ticket or
worse — your life," Czaja said. "We want all passengers and drivers to use lap and
shoulder belts every time they are riding in a motor vehicle."