Law enforcement officers are stationed throughout Livingston County looking to stop un-buckled motorists as part of the annual two-week Click It or Ticket campaign that began this week.

Officers from local police departments, the Livingston County Sherriff’s Office, and Michigan State Police are out on the roads cracking down on drivers and passengers who aren’t using their safety belts. Public Information Officer for the Michigan State Police Brighton Post, Lt. Darren Green, said that law enforcement is going to be aggressive in their enforcement of the seat belt law in these two weeks around Memorial Day weekend.

Lt. Green said troopers are working overtime details these two weeks and that if motorists are caught without their safety belts on, it will be zero tolerance. He said they want to be aggressive, because it deters the behavior of not wearing a seat belt, which is what they are trying to get people to do.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning reports that 3 out of 4 people ejected from a vehicle in a crash will die, and that wearing a seat belt is the simplest thing that can be done to reduce injuries and save lives. Lt. Green adds that even collisions at slower speeds, like 15-20 miles per hour, can cause significant injuries, or internal injuries that require hospitalization.

Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers, and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster until they turn 8 years old or grow to be 4-feet 9-inches tall, with all children under 4 riding in the back seat. Green says that even though passengers over 18 aren’t required to buckle up in the back seat, he still highly encourages it for safety. Buckling up can reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash by 45%.

Michigan motorists are actually more responsible when it comes to seat belt usage than the national average. Michigan’s seat belt usage rate is 93.4%, compared to the national average of 89.6%.

A ticket for not wearing a safety belt is $65. (MK)