Columbus ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign reinforces highway safety

Published 1:33 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Columbus Police Department participated in the Governor&squo;s Highway Safety campaign, &dquo;Click it or Ticket,&dquo; during the weeks of May 18-31. &bsp;

During the campaign, the department stepped up patrols and enforcement activities with four checkpoints and four saturation or focused patrols, which produced 13 citations and three arrests. Citations included six speeding violations; three seatbelt violations; two license violations; and two alcohol violations. &bsp;

The Columbus Police Department will be participating in other Governor&squo;s Highway Safety Campaigns throughout the year.

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The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports that in North Carolina and across America, millions of deaths and injuries occur because people don&squo;t use safety belts and child passenger safety seats. Research shows that appeals to &dquo;do the right thing&dquo; don&squo;t work for people who don&squo;t use belts. What gets them to buckle up is high visibility enforcement through checkpoints and citations. Nearly every law enforcement agency in the state participates in &dquo;Click It or Ticket,&dquo; one of the most intensive law enforcement efforts of its kind.

According to the Social Marketing Institute, the dramatic increase in seat-belt usage has led to a 14 percent reduction in fatal and serious highway injuries and a corresponding savings of $125 million in health care-related costs since the program began in 1993. The decrease in the number and severity of auto injuries also resulted in a $33 million reduction in insurance premiums paid to North Carolina auto insurers.

Because of the Click It or Ticket&squo;s system of checkpoints throughout the state, law enforcement officials have discovered more than 56,000 other auto-related criminal offences since the program&squo;s start, including: stolen vehicles, felony drug violations, illegal firearms, and fugitives from justice. Funds generated as a result of these offenses and the more than 200,000 seat belt citations, which amounted to $1.6 million after the first year alone, go to benefit local public schools across the state.