INDIANAPOLIS -- As part of the "Click It or Ticket" Memorial Day seat belt enforcement mobilization taking place May 16-June 1, law enforcement officers from eight counties will be out in force along United States 40 to enforce Indiana's primary seat belt law during nighttime hours.
From 6-10 p.m., Friday, 61 patrol units from 17 law enforcement agencies will saturate 156 continuous miles of state highway to detect motorists who still choose not to wear their seat belts. That equates to one officer for every 2.55 miles.
Participating agencies have named the effort, "Reducing Auto Crashes Through Corridor Enforcement (RACE)." Through the four-hour initiative, officers will dedicate time to reducing fatalities and injuries on Hoosier roadways.
"Since nighttime seat belt use still remains a problem, we anticipate that this effort will yield positive results and promote behavioral change among those motorists who think they can go unnoticed just because the sun goes down," Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said.
According to the 2007 Indiana Occupant Protection Fact Sheet, overall observed seat belt usage rates have increased from a low of 62.1 percent in 2000 to a high of 88.4 percent in 2007, statewide. On US 40, there were an estimated 2,137 collisions in 2007, seven of which resulted in fatal injury. Another 570 crashes resulted in non-fatal injury, while 1,560 collisions caused costly property damage.
"Click It or Ticket" is a statewide campaign designed to enforce seat belt laws and remind both drivers and passengers to buckle up or face a fine. More than 70 percent of Indiana law enforcement agencies will participate in this year's mobilization, a more than 20 percent increase from last year.