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Click It Or Ticket 'Saved Lives,' Bridgeport Police Chief Says

Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez
Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- During a two-week period that ended June 5, the Bridgeport Police Department wrote more than 380 seat belt citations during the annual Click it Or Ticket campaign.

“We believe we saved lives,” said Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez. “We know for a fact that seat belts save lives in motor vehicle crashes, and I think we got people’s attention by cracking down hard.”

The hallmarks of the national Click It or Ticket crackdown are ramped-up enforcement — meaning zero tolerance for unbuckled vehicle occupants — and effective communication to all road users about the importance of seat belts.

In addition to the seat belt tickets, Bridgeport officers also issued four citations for having improperly secured infant car seats.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2014 were unrestrained. During this year’s campaign, NHTSA urged law enforcement nationwide to issue seat belt citations to anyone caught in violation of the law, especially at night, when 57 percent of those killed are unrestrained.

By adding patrols at night, and training officers on specific techniques to catch nighttime violators, the campaign — and the nighttime focus — was a “major success,” according to Perez.

The national seat belt use rate is currently at 87 percent according to NHTSA.

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