Buckle up or pay up across Michigan this Memorial Day - WNEM TV 5

Buckle up or pay up across Michigan this Memorial Day

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Motorists are being reminded to buckle up as they head home from the long Memorial Day Holiday weekend.

Officers from police departments, sheriff's offices and Michigan State Police are conducting seat belt enforcement zones across the state through May 31 as part of the annual Click It Or Ticket campaign.

Last year, 188 people who died in Michigan traffic crashes were not wearing their seat belts. Of those, 137 were male and 51 were female. Buckling up can reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a crash by 45 percent.

"Our ultimate goal is 100 percent compliance with the state's seat belt law, not only this Memorial Day holiday weekend but throughout the year," said Michael L. Prince, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director through a news release. "Extra officers will be on the road specifically watching for unbuckled motorists because all of the safety features built into our vehicles are made more effective with seat belt use."

Twenty people were killed in traffic crashes during the 2014 Memorial Day holiday. Of those, seven were motorcyclists and nine were vehicle occupants, one of whom was not wearing a seat belt.

Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. The fine and associated costs for unbuckled adults is $65. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4'9" tall, and children under 4 years old must be in the back seat.

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