‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign kicks off May 24 in Kearny, Lyndhurst, elsewhere

Law enforcement officers from around the state — including the Kearny and Lyndhurst police departments, will join police around the country in cracking down on unbuckled motorists and passengers as part of the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

Beginning May 24 and running through June 6, the annual “Click It or Ticket” national mobilization utilizes high visibility seat belt checkpoints and saturation patrols, in combination with local and national publicity efforts, to reiterate the life-saving value of seat belts.

“Using a seat belt is the simplest way for motor vehicle occupants to protect themselves on the road,” Eric Heitmann, director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, said. “Crash statistics show that in 2017 alone, seat belt use saved nearly 15,000 lives nationally.”

In New Jersey, a key focus of this year’s campaign is to promote seat belt usage by adults in all seating positions in the vehicle, both front and rear seats.

Front seat belt usage rate in New Jersey currently stands at 90.23%. However, adults riding in rear seats are buckling up at a significantly lower rate, only 48%, according to the most recent surveys.

“For whatever reason there seems to be a disconnect with people feeling they don’t need to buckle up when riding as passengers in rear seats, and this is a concern,” Heitmann said. “By promoting back seat usage of seat belts during our Click It or Ticket campaign, we’re encouraging passenger habits that will save lives.”

The 2020 Click It or Ticket mobilization was cancelled due to the Covid public health emergency. During the 2019 campaign, 343 New Jersey police agencies participated in the two-week initiative.

As a result of the effort, law enforcement officers issued 14,548 seat belt citations, 5,670 speeding summonses and made 858 impaired-driving arrests.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.