TPD cracks down on seat belt laws - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

TPD cracks down on seat belt laws

Posted May 31, 2005 at 5:41 pm

Thomasville- Thomasville Police Officers are aggressively citing motorists who aren't buckled up. The campaign is part of Georgia's "Click It or Ticket" initiative.

     Nobody is given warnings. Sergeant Rachelle Denmark says that's because lives are at stake. "I personally have seen several terrible accidents where people have been ejected from the car, kids have been killed," she says.

     If you're not buckled up, no matter where you are in Thomasville, you're bound to be stopped. Officers are taking the proactive approach. "We're doing little checkpoints all over town," says Denmark.

     Citations aren't the only part of "Click It or Ticket." Education is also a major factor. That's why with each citation issued, officers also pass out a seat belt myths and facts pamphlet. "The driver and passenger have to wear a seat belt. If you're a child under a certain age, you have to have your seatbelt on or be in a child seat, so that varies with age and weight," says Denmark.

     Some drivers may try to get out of being ticketed. But officers use spotters before motorists reach the actual checkpoint. Other motorists take the citation gracefully, a reminder that it could very well save their life down the road. "It might be a hassle to a lot of people, but really it's trying to save lives. Really it's simple, all you got to do is click it or ticket; if not, it's money out of your pocket," says ticket recipient Rod Cromartie.

     "Click It or Ticket" is a lifesaving campaign to educate. It's also a cost-saving campaign to keep more than seven and a half billion dollars in accident related costs each year in taxpayers' pockets. "It may have to be done through a uniform traffic citation, but that's just the way it is," says Denmark.

     The "Click it or Ticket" checkpoints are manned by officers who volunteer in their spare time. They run through June 5th. But officers say they'll still be enforcing the laws during their regular patrol shifts.

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