Now through June 3rd, more than 400 law enforcement agencies across the state are stepping up enforcement of Wisconsin's mandatory safety belt law. All of this ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
Several law enforcement officers met Monday afternoon at the Lake Hallie police departement to kick of the state's annual "Click It or Ticket" mobilization. The increased patrols mean you'll see a big prescense throughout the state as you head out for the memorial day weekend.
Dennis Johnson works with the DOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "There's a lot more traffic obviously and this is the first big holiday of the summer so you're going to have a lot more vehicles out there."
"The increased travel during that time period. Accident rates always go up as well as injuries and fatalities. Our goal is to heighten the awareness of the importance of seatbelt use as well as speeding and use of alcohol," says Lt. Mitch Gibson with the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department.
The DOT says surveys show 16 to 25 year olds tend to not buckle up the most. Pick up drivers have also shown to go without the seatbelt.
"I think it's definitely improved in the last few years. Statistics show that although we are still below the national average here in wisconsin," says Gibson.
National statistics show 84% of people say they buckle up when they hit the road. That numbers goes down to 79% here in the state of wisconsin.
Lt. Lorentz with the state patrol says on big problem area for people not using there seatbelt is on rural roads. "People have the tendancy to not buckle up as much on rural roads. We've seen some very extreme crashes out there."
Law enforcement will aslo be cracking down on speeding as well as drunk and distracted driving. Drivers say that's a good thing.
"I think that's a wonderful idea. I really do," says Walt Hawkins. "Hopefully it will get more people to start wearing their belts," says Brad Stewart.
"Be proactive to buckle yourself up, to ensure your children are buckled up safely. It goes a long way in preventing serious injuries," says Lorentz.