Officers on the lookout for unbuckled motorists - WNEM TV 5

Officers on the lookout for unbuckled motorists

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

With the summer travel season underway, law enforcement officers from 155 agencies will be conducting safety belt enforcement zones in 26 counties across the state through June 2.

Although Michigan led the nation in seat belt use for two years running, 2008 and 2009, belt use has declined for the last three years. 

Last year belt use was at 93.6 percent. Despite a high belt-use rate, nearly half of vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes are unbuckled.

"We want everyone to have a safe Memorial Day holiday weekend," said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, the agency coordinating the effort supported by federal traffic safety funds.  "Buckling up is easy and it is the single best way to reduce your chances of being hurt or killed in a traffic crash."

Agencies in the following counties will have extra officers out enforcing the state's seat belt law during the Click It or Ticket campaign: Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Chippewa, Delta, Eaton, Genesee, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Marquette, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Ogemaw, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw and Wayne.

Last year, 10 people died over the Memorial Day holiday period. Of those, three were not wearing a seat belt.

Michigan law requires drivers and front seat passengers to be buckle up. Passengers 15 and younger must be buckled up in any seating position. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4'9" inches tall.

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