Wisconsin state troopers remind drivers to buckle up as DOT ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign begins

People 80 times more likely to be ejected from vehicles when not wearing seat belts

TOMAH, Wis. (WKBT) — A vehicle crash death is eight times more likely if a person fails to wear a seat belt, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The DOT launched its “Click It or Ticket” campaign on Monday, with a message that goes far beyond a fine for those who fail to buckle up.

“We want people to be safe,” said Trooper Christina Holtz at the State Patrol’s Tomah Post.

Not buckling up is “a very big risk,” Holtz said.

Let’s allow some simple math to prove Holtz’s point.

“You’re 80 times more likely to be ejected if as a result of not wearing your seat belt,” she said.

Holtz has been at crashes where people chose to drive without a seatbelt.

“It’s a very gruesome scene to see someone if … they’re ejected from a vehicle,” Holtz said.

So people can imagine why this means something to her.

“We don’t want people to go through that experience,” Holtz said.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for people ages 1-54 in the United States.

“Unbelted drivers and passengers make up half of those who are involved in deadly crashes across the state,”  State Patrol Superintendent Anthony Burrell said at a “Click It or Ticket” event at American Family Field.

For more than a decade, the DOT has recruited popular voices to inspire seat belt use, including former Green Bay Packers great Donald Driver.

“The most important thing to do to save your life is to buckle up,” Driver said. “It starts with the person driving, and then it goes to the passengers in the vehicle.”

So troopers say buckling up takes a few seconds of a person’s time.

“Make it a habit,” Holtz said. “Every trip, every time.”

The ticket in this phrase is just a reminder before the consequences of no seat belt become irreversible.

Heads up for parents: Anyone under age 4 is required to ride in a car seat. Any child between 4 and 8 has to ride in a booster seat.

A seat belt survey found about 88 percent of Wisconsin drivers and passengers buckled up in 2021. That number was down 2 percentage points from the national average.

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