5/26/17 – The annual Memorial Day “Click It Or Ticket” campaign is underway, as officers throughout Wisconsin step up their enforcement of seat belt laws. The statewide campaign runs through June fourth — and while seat belt usage has risen to 88-percent in the past two decades, it’s still below the national average of a little more than 90-percent. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office and several local police departments have been awarded a Click it or Ticket Task Force Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation that runs through the end of September. Police departments in Beaver Dam, Horicon, Lomira and Mayville are also participating. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says they are working collaboratively to have high visibility on certain days throughout the enforcement period in specific areas of the county. He says the goal is to educate people about the importance of safety belts and encourage them to buckle up. Schmidt says their goal is to make sure motorists make it home to their families every day. We asked Schmidt on WBEV’s Community Comment recently if getting pulled over automatically means the driver will get a ticket. Schmidt says it is always up to the discretion of the deputy or the officer but given the fact that the tickets is $10 the chances are that a ticket would be issued. State lawmakers have not touched the original ten-dollar ticket for not buckling up, despite reports that other states have dramatically increased their penalties in recent years. But State Patrol Lieutenant Nathan Clarke says that seat belt tickets go on the offenders’ driving records — and they could face higher insurance premiums from their carriers, especially if injuries force insurers to cover high medical costs for those not buckling up.
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