“Click It, Don’t Risk It” Campaign in High Gear for Memorial Day

This Memorial Day in Montana almost 50 law enforcement agencies across the state are adding patrols for the “Click It, Don’t Risk It” high-intensity traffic enforcement period May 19 through June 1. Motorists throughout Montana should be aware of heightened enforcement.

The national seat belt campaign is timed to reach motorists as the summer travel season begins around Memorial Day.

Extra patrols will be out looking for seat belt violations, Missoula Police Department Sergeant Greg Amundsen said.

Increased seat belt use is key to preventing crash deaths and injuries, especially among teens and young adults. People age 15 to 29 accounted for 40 percent of the severe injuries and 26 percent of the fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes in Montana in 2012. Those aged 18 to 25 are the group with the highest fatality crash rate in Montana over the last 10 years — a rate fueled by the fact that 85 percent of the fatalities in this age group were not wearing a seat belt, or were not wearing it properly, at the time of their crash.

click itThe Missoula Police Department will add overtime shifts both day and night to focus on seat belt enforcement.

“A lot of crashes in Montana occur on local roads in rural areas,” Amundsen said. “A crash at only 12 miles an hour can be fatal. We’ll be giving out tickets and reminding people to buckle up, every trip, every time.”

Overtime patrols for traffic safety enforcement are funded by the Montana Department of Transportation. High-visibility enforcement is one of the overall strategies employed in Montana’s Vision Zero initiative, which begins May 19 and aims to save lives by increasing enforcement of seat belt laws. In addition to enforcement, Vision Zero also emphasizes education, engineering of safer roads, and support for emergency medical response. #VisionZeroMT