CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (CHIPPEWA FALLS POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) -- From May 19th through June 1st, the Chippewa Falls Police Department participated in the national campaign Click It or Ticket, in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the US Department of Transportation. The goal of this program is to increase safety belt use among vehicle occupants through the enforcement of these traffic laws.
During this two week period, patrol officers with the Chippewa Falls Police Department issued 104 citations for safety belt violations. Additionally, the following citations were issued for offenses discovered during the course of these traffic contacts:
*Operating with a suspended or revoked drivers license- 39
*Non-registration of vehicle- 9
*Operating while under the influence of an intoxicant- 5
*Child safety restraint violation- 1
*Additional violations, the majority of which were for failing to possess vehicle insurance)35
In total, 257 traffic contacts were conducted involving these violations and 188 citations were issued.
Not only did officers conduct enforcement of the traffic laws, but criminal arrests were also made during these traffic contacts. This included 14 arrests or citations for drug-related offenses, as well as 5 felony and 6 misdemeanor crimes.
Specifically on May 23th, Patrol Sgt David BeBeau had occasion to stop a vehicle as both the operator and passenger were observed not wearing their safety belts. As he was speaking with the operator, Sgt BeBeau smelled the odor of marijuana coming from this vehicle's interior.
A subsequent search led to the discovery of 133.5 grams of marijuana, $720 in cash and items of drug paraphernalia. The operator was arrest for Possession of THC with the Intent to Deliver and was transported to the Chippewa County Jail.
Because of this traffic contact and criminal arrest, Sgt BeBeau has been nominated for a recognition award, through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
The Chippewa Falls Police Department received no additional funding to take pan in this program. Officers took it upon themselves to focus on an increased effort to enforce the safety belt laws. Just as with all traffic citations, the fines from those found guilty are distributed amongst various state agencies with a smaller portion going to the city of Chippewa Falls' general fund.
It is the goal of the Chippewa Falls Police Department and the Click It or Ticket campaign to raise the awareness and use of safety belts with vehicle occupants. We hope through participation in these types of events, we can raise awareness for traffic concerns to make sure we all get to where we are going as safely as possible.