As the summer travel season approaches, Wisconsin State Patrol joins law enforcement agencies across the nation to encourage seat belt use on every trip in a vehicle.

The annual Click It or Ticket campaign begins Monday, May 23 and runs through June 5. Law enforcement agencies will step up enforcement for drivers and passengers who are not wearing their seat belts.

Buckling up is one of the quickest and easiest steps you can take to survive a crash. Unbelted drivers and passengers make up half of those who are involved in deadly crashes in Wisconsin.

“Not wearing a seat belt can have tragic consequences. We are seeing a rise in deadly crashes across the country. Click It or Ticket is a critical awareness campaign to remind every Wisconsinite why it’s so important to always buckle up,” State Patrol Superintendent Anthony Burrell said.

Wisconsin’s seat belt use is dropping. A seat belt survey found about 88% of Wisconsin drivers and passengers buckled up in 2021. That number was down two percentage points from 2019 and lags behind the national rate of about 90%.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s seat belt awareness campaign goes beyond enforcement. Former Packers star Donald Driver teamed up with WisDOT’s annual Click It or Ticket campaign this month, appearing in person at a news conference in Milwaukee and on the screen in a new animated video.

The campaign comes as Wisconsin gets ready for the first summer travel holiday of the year. The simple act of clicking the seat belt should be the first step in road trip plans as Wisconsinites prepare for Memorial Day weekend.

“Our goal with Click It or Ticket is to save lives, not just hand out tickets. Ultimately, we would rather write a warning or citation than make a death notification,” Superintendent Burrell said. “Every time we talk about the importance of using a seat belt, we have a chance to save a life. Help us achieve zero deaths in Wisconsin this summer and beyond. Always buckle your seat belt. Every trip, every time.”

Wisconsin’s primary seat belt law allows law enforcement to stop and cite drivers for not wearing a seat belt. Drivers can also be cited for unbuckled passengers in their vehicle. The goal is to encourage a long-term change in driver and passenger behavior.

Last Update: May 23, 2022 9:05 am CDT

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