Newport to have ‘Click It or Ticket’ seat belt enforcement, police chief says

Posted May 15, 2014, at 6:47 p.m.

NEWPORT, Maine — There is a proven way to reduce the loss of life in motor vehicle crashes, and it’s as simple as putting on a seat belt, Newport Police Chief Leonard Macdaid said Thursday. He announced the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign, which will take place from May 19 through June 1.

“Every day for 14 days, day and night, we’ll have somebody [looking for seat belt violators],” said the police chief. “We’re trying to decrease motor vehicle fatalities. Since we started this campaign, they have dropped.”

Other Maine police departments, including Old Town and Veazie, also will be participating in this year’s National Seat Belt Enforcement campaign, which provides grants to police departments in order to beef up patrols to ensure motorists are complying with the state’s seat belt law.

Officer Chris McCrillis, Newport’s school resource officer, will be teaching various seat belt safety classes to students during the two-week campaign because National Highway Safety Administration data shows that teens and young adults are at higher risk, Macdaid said.

The police chief said the message is simple: click it or ticket.

“We’ll have a zero tolerance,” Macdaid said.

Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 2012, national statistics showed that 21,667 occupants of passenger cars, trucks, vans and SUVs were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide, and 48 percent of them were not wearing seat belts.