North Dakota’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign ended June 2, but local law enforcement representative are hoping it has become a habit for North Dakota drivers.
By Brad Mosher
The campaign was designed to try to lower the number of fatalities and serious injuries during the Memorial Day holiday period from late May until early June.
Some counties participated in the campaign, others were not as involved.
In Dunn County, the sheriff’s office made out 34 seatbelt citations during the period from May 20 to June 2.
The deputies made 90 contacts, handed out 49 total citations, gave out 55 traffic warnings and four stopped for speeding.
According to Sheriff Gary Kuhn, the department worked for 52.5 hours in total grant hours. The additional patrols during the campaign were using Department of Transportation grant funding designed to focus on seatbelt violations as part of the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign.
The sheriff also explained that the top three reasons North Dakotans wear a seatbelt are for fear of losing a loved one, not wanting to be killed in a crash and preventing injuries to passengers in a crash.
Hettinger, Bowman counties opt out
In Hettinger County, the effort is primarily operated by the Highway Patrol with focus on the state highways and the interstate.
According to Tracy Kruger of the county’s Emergency Management office, the county isn’t really a part of the state campaign. “We have never promoted it or changed our protocols or procedures,” she said.
Still, Kruger admitted that it is a message that drivers need to remember every time they get into their cars or trucks.
“They (the state) puts it out ahead of known heavy travel times,” Kruger said. “That is obviously when you want to reiterate the message the most.”
In Bowman County, the department didn’t participate this spring, according to the new sheriff, Frank Eberle. He said that he hadn’t been approached about the program since he became sheriff in January.
In Adams County, the Sheriff Department is more of an active participant in the program.
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According to a state spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation, law enforcement across the state has extra patrols from May 20 to June 2 for the Click It or Ticket campaign enforcing the state seat belt law.
According to state statistics, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury-related death in North Dakota. Lack of seat belt use is the number one contributing factor in these vehicle deaths. In 2018, of the fatalities that were seat belt eligible in North Dakota, 48% were not wearing their seat belt. That means one unbelted occupant died every ten days on North Dakota roads, the state spokeswoman said.
The campaign is part of the Vision Zero strategy to eliminate motor vehicle crash fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads, according to the state official.