As Memorial Day weekend and summer travel season approach, law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin, including the Wisconsin State Patrol, are stepping up patrols for the annual Click It or Ticket campaign. The increased enforcement of seat belt violations runs through June 4, 2023 nationwide.
State law requires all drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt when traveling in Wisconsin. Children must also be in the proper child safety seat for their age and size. The simple action of buckling up is proven to save lives in a crash.
“Buckling up is such an easy step – and it’s one of the most important things you can do every time you get in the car. Remind your loved ones that you want them to come home safely. Every trip, every time,” State Patrol Superintendent Tim Carnahan said.
Wisconsin’s primary seat belt law allows law enforcement to stop and cite motorists for failing to wear a seat belt. Penalties are higher for transporting unrestrained children. Passengers can also be cited for not wearing a seat belt.
The goal of Click It or Ticket is not simply to issue citations, but to educate the community on the importance of wearing a seat belt. A 2022 survey found 87.5% of Wisconsin motorists wear seat belts. That number has been dropping in recent years and falls below the nationwide seat belt use rate of 90.4% in 2021.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s seat belt awareness campaign features former Packers star Donald Driver, who appears in a series of videos promoting seat belt use.
“Our hope is, through enforcement and education, more Wisconsinites will recognize the value of wearing a seat belt. No matter how far you’re traveling – just going down the street, or across the state – Donald Driver’s message helps remind us that seat belts can become an easy habit,” Bureau of Transportation Safety Director David Pabst said.
In addition to Click It or Ticket, WisDOT’s Buckle Up Phone Down campaign encourages drivers and passengers to be aware of the dangers of not wearing a seat belt throughout the year. Take the Buckle Up Phone Down pledge at wisconsindot.gov/BUPD. Join as an individual, community group, or business and commit to traffic safety on every trip.