It's 2013's "Click It or Ticket" week right now. What does that mean, exactly? It's the U.S. Department of Transportation's week-long, annual campaign to ensure stricter seat belt enforcement, this year with a focused emphasis on nighttime drivers. Basically, state and local law enforcement agencies are cracking down even more severely on motorists caught not wearing a seat belt this week.
According to USA TODAY, if they aren't buckled up, drivers can expect fines of up to $162 during the week, which will run until June 2nd, 2013. Nationally, the average cost per ticket is around $38. The campaign typically launches right before or around the Memorial Day weekend, which usually signals the start of summer vacation season, or at least a long weekend undoubtedly filled with more drivers on the road than usual.
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood says that, "When we started this campaign two decades ago, we knew that our roadways would be safer." Also, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 86% of drivers now buckle up when they get behind the wheel of their cars.
Still, though, this means that there are still those who don't click it, and thus run the obvious risk of a ticket. According to a report from USA TODAY, here's what seat belt tickets issued in 2010 looks like for the top ten states with the most citations:
California, Texas, and New York all unsurprisingly appear on this list. But, the states with the most citations are actually not one of these three heavy-hitters. Florida is the second most ticketed state for seat belt violations in 2010 with over 60,000 citations. While Illinois actually comes in first place with a whopping 74,364. The full list, below:
So, for those of you residing in or driving through these states, be warned. But, more importantly: be safe.