Flathead Sheriff’s Office Increasing Seat-Belt Enforcement

By Beacon Staff

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office is joining the national campaign, Click It or Ticket, to heighten seat-belt enforcement, officials announced on Friday. Additional patrols will be on the road from May 20 to June 2.

“Too many drivers and passengers on the road are not wearing their seat belts, and it often ends in tragedy,” said Sheriff Chuck Curry. “Our goal is to save lives, so the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office will be putting an extra emphasis on enforcing Montana’s seat belt and child safety seat laws.”

Preliminary numbers show 78 percent of those who died in crashes on Montana roads so far this year were not wearing seat belts, an increase of 32 percent from the same time period last year, according to the sheriff’s office.

While Montana’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 20 through June 2, the sheriff’s office are reminding motorists that officers are enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

Montana has a primary law for children through age 6 and weighing less than 60 pounds, but motorists need to ensure all children are properly buckled and sitting in the backseat until they are 13 years old. Enforcement officials encourage all adults to be buckled, too.

“We’d rather everyone choose to buckle up – not just to avoid the ticket, but to be safe and avoid serious injury or death,” Curry said. “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone not buckled up.”

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