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Letter: 'Click It or Ticket' campaign begins

To the Editor:

Each year in Wisconsin, approximately 700 to 800 people are killed in traffic crashes. These numbers are more than a statistic. They mask human tragedy.

Because traffic crashes are the leading killer of young people from ages 4 to 34, there are far too many funerals for children and teenagers. The tragedy is that we all know that many of these deaths could have been prevented.

To reduce deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes, there is no solution that is more effective than getting more people to wear their safety belts every time they drive or ride in a vehicle.

But sadly, too many people are ejected from vehicles in rollover crashes as if they were shot out of a cannon because they didn't buckle up. People also are tossed around viciously inside vehicles during a crash because they were unbuckled. In some instances, an unbuckled occupant is launched into another occupant causing severe or fatal injuries to both of them.

In Wisconsin, about three out of four vehicle occupants use safety belts, which is an all-time high for our state. But we still have a tremendous amount of work to do.

Wisconsin is still well behind the national average of 82 percent for safety belt use. Every 1 percent point increase in safety belt use in Wisconsin saves an estimated six lives per year.

To increase safety belt use, law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will mobilize for the "Click It or Ticket" campaign from May 19 to June 1.

The "Click It or Ticket" message is clear - if you're stopped by an officer and aren't wearing a safety belt, you will get a ticket. Everyone should take this message seriously.

Buckling up is quick and easy, and it provides vital protection against a violent death or a lifelong injury. Moreover, wearing a safety belt is the law. However, if you choose to ignore the law as well as common sense, an officer will be ready to provide you with a very convincing reminder.

Wisconsin Department of

Transportation Secretary

Frank Busalacchi