Police gear up for Summer safety campaigns

LANSING-As we approach the summer season, State and local police are both preparing safety campaigns to combat the traditional rise of traffic accidents during the summer season.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) announced a “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign that began on Monday May 20 that will run through Sunday, June 2.

Over the two-week campaign, city, and county police departments across the state conduct high-visibility seat belt enforcement and issue fines to help keep motorists and their passengers safe and secure inside their vehicles in the case of a crash.

“The enforcement period is designed to save lives by reminding drivers and all vehicle occupants that buckling up is the most effective thing you can do to stay safe on our roadways,” said Katie Bower, OHSP director, in a news release. “With the arrival of warmer weather, there is an increase in the number of people traveling to meet up with family and friends. We want to encourage drivers and passengers to buckle up so that everyone makes it to their destinations safely.”

In 2022, 244 occupants killed in Michigan traffic crashes, including 21 fatal crashes that occurred over Memorial Day weekend alone, were not wearing a seatbelt, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that half of the 25,420 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in traffic crashes in 2022 were not wearing their seatbelt, and estimates that buckling up can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 40% in the instance of a traffic crash.

Michigan law states that drivers, front-seat passengers, and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position must be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are age 8 or 4 feet, 9 inches tall, and children under 4 must be in the back seat.

The fine and associated costs for not wearing a seat belt are $65.

“Wearing your seatbelt is not just the safe thing to do — it’s the law,” Bower said. “MSP troopers, local police, and county sheriff’s offices will be conducting high-visibility enforcement as we work collectively to help address these disturbing crash numbers.”

The initiative comes just one month after Michigan Police launched their no-tolerance hands-free Distracted Driving campaign, which was an attempt to crackdown on cell phone use while operating a car.

It’s not all bad news for Michigan Traffic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safet Administration, traffic deaths in the state fell 7.5% last year. While traffic deaths nationally were down 3.6%, Michigan’s decline was greater.

The data still isn’t good enough to be comparable to pre-Covid levels. Michigan’s death rate in 2023 was still 5.5% higher than they were in 2019. MSP cites the agencies enforcement of distracted driving campaigns as the reason for the decline in deaths across the state.

NHTSA data suggests that distracted-affected crashes are responsible for 8% of all traffic fatalities.

At Traffic Court Buddy, we believe that every individual should have access to legal representation for any traffic-related charges. From tickets to forfeiture of vehicles, we make it our mission to help provide all the facts to help ensure you receive the minimum possible penalties for any alleged infraction. If you need traffic court representation, reach out today!