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Thursday, May 5, 2016

State police coverage to increase

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Clay County motorists should buckle up and watch their speed over the next couple of weeks, during which Indiana State Police will be upping their coverage to keep drivers safe statewide.

The ISP will implement a number of programs over the summer, the most well-known being Operation Pullover. After several successful runs, the federal program is back, encouraging drivers to "click it or ticket."

Corporal Joe Watts of the Indiana State Police says federal money is allotted to officer overtime during Operation Pullover, which began Sunday and ends June 6.

During the course of the program, officers around the state will set up checkpoints and hold extra patrols to find drivers who are not wearing their seat belts. A zero tolerance policy will be in effect, leaving officers with no room to give warnings for the offense.

Indiana law says all passengers in a car's front seat must be wearing a seat belt. All children under age 3 must be restrained in a child safety seat. Additionally, all children under the age of 12 must wear a seat belt whether they are in the front or back seat of a car. Passengers over the age of 12 are not required to wear a seat belt if they are riding in the back seat.

The fine for a seat belt violation is $25 statewide. Watts said child restraint violation fines vary from county to county, but generally cost around $85.

Another upcoming operation is Combined Accident Reduction Effort, or CARE. The program, held on dates close to and during holidays, will begin the day before Labor Day and end the day after. During the operation, extra officers will be on patrol statewide.

Statewide Traffic Extra Patrol, or STEP, is also in effect. This program is used to catch speeders, road ragers, and other traffic violators.

Watts said he thinks these operations are worthwhile.

"We just like to see people using their seat belts," he said. "Usage in Indiana is up, and we all know seat belts do prevent injuries and save lives."

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