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November = Click It or Ticket month

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

November = Click It or Ticket month

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 3, 2009

The November Traffic Initiative of the Woodstock Police Department is “occupant restraint (seat belt)” violations.

The press release reads, “The goal of the ‘Click It or Ticket Mobilization’ is not to give out tickets, but rather to influence people to buckle up and prevent injuries and fatalities.”

So, if the goal is to influence people, why not use notices, announcements, press releases, public service announcements on radio and TV and mobile message devices, including ads on PACE buses and Metra?

An “initiative”, in the eyes of most drivers, is a campaign or crackdown that will result in an increased number of tickets issued. So it’s not the goal; it’s “just” the result.

How much is a seatbelt violation ticket? $50? $75? And if you go to court over it, add $200 in court costs. So will you go to court? No, you’ll just fork over the $50-75. And do you think that the police departments don’t know that?

Remember, in most cases it’s not the failure to wear your seatbelt that causes accidents, injuries and fatalities. It’s the crash that causes the injuries and fatalities.

If police concentrate on the Fatal Four (speeding; DUI; tailgating; improper lane use), then #5 (seatbelts) will lose its importance as a "violation."

Frankly, in my opinion, you have to be pretty stupid not to wear your seatbelt. My life was saved by a seatbelt that I installed in 1958, thanks to a friend and photography mentor. I just don’t think it should be a primary enforcement violation.

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