Lakewood, Howell Police Awarded Grants For “Click It Or Ticket” Campaign

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS) today announced the start of the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which aims to raise awareness among drivers and passengers about the lifesaving importance of wearing seat belts.

The campaign, which will run through June 2, will leverage grant funding from HTS to provide resources to law enforcement agencies across the state so they can step up enforcement of New Jersey’s seat belt requirements to keep drivers and passengers safe on our roadways.

This year, 119 New Jersey law enforcement agencies have received $766,010 from HTS to help pay for increased road patrols, seat belt checkpoints, and other enforcement initiatives during the “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

Included in the grants are $10,500 for the Lakewood Police Department and $8,750 for the Howell Police Department. Jackson, Toms River, and Brick were not awarded grants.

The campaign is part of HTS’s ongoing efforts to increase safety and reduce fatalities on New Jersey’s roadways. According to the most recent data from 2022, in New Jersey there were 140 unbelted fatalities, and 39 percent of all motor vehicle occupant fatalities were unrestrained compared to 44 percent nationally. And over the past five years, nearly 16 percent of all unrestrained occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey were between the ages of 20 and 24, compared to 13.5 percent nationally.

“Seat belts save lives – we want that message to be loud and clear. And the campaign we are announcing today will provide law enforcement agencies with resources to reinforce that basic but critical point,” said Attorney General Platkin. “As we prepare for the busy summer driving season, we are laser focused on ensuring safety on roadways across New Jersey. This starts with drivers and passengers buckling up the moment they enter a vehicle.”

“In New Jersey, a state known for its busy highways and beautiful shorelines, spending time on the road is inevitable. However, it’s important to prioritize safety no matter your destination,” said Michael J. Rizol Jr., Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “Wearing your seatbelt is not only required by law, but it can also save your life. Remember to buckle up, day or night, every seat, every time.”

Law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey take a “no-excuses” approach to seat belt compliance, with the maximum penalty of a $46 fine for a seat belt violation serving as a reminder to buckle up, every time.

Last year, law enforcement agencies participating in the “Click It or Ticket” campaign issued 6,989 seatbelt citations statewide, wrote 2,320 speeding summonses, and made 232 impaired driving arrests.

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign also coincides with the “101 Days of Summer,” considered the busiest and most dangerous travel period of the year. Beautiful weather and New Jersey’s countless entertainment and recreational destinations create heavy travel demands in the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Over the next three months, HTS will continue to work closely with local, county, state, and national law enforcement agencies to make summer travel safer and strive to reduce crashes and fatalities throughout New Jersey.

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