For Immediate Release: May 22, 2023
Office of The Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Division of Highway Traffic Safety
– Michael J. Rizol Jr., Director
TRENTON – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS) today announced the start of New Jersey’s annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, reminding drivers and passengers that seat belts save lives.
Beginning today, grant funding from HTS will be used to mobilize law enforcement agencies across the State to stop drivers and passengers who choose to not buckle up. The campaign will run through June 4.
The launch of the enforcement campaign comes as HTS continues its focus on reducing fatalities on New Jersey’s roadways. According to the most recent data, in 2021, there were 160 unbelted fatalities, and 47 percent of all motor vehicle occupant fatalities were unrestrained. Additionally, over the past five years, nearly 24 percent of all unrestrained occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes were between the ages of 25 and 34.
“Too many New Jerseyans needlessly lose their lives due to motor vehicle-related fatalities, and reducing these preventable deaths is a top priority for my office,” said Attorney General Platkin. “Our campaign will help raise awareness of this critical and proven way of preventing serious injury or death in the event of a motor vehicle crash. Seat belts save lives – it’s that simple.”
This year, 134 New Jersey law enforcement agencies have received $798,350 from HTS to help pay for increased road patrols, seat belt checkpoints, and other enforcement initiatives during the “Click It or Ticket” campaign.
“New Jerseyans need to grasp how important it is to buckle up, every time, anywhere you are going,” said Michael J. Rizol Jr., Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “Taking a few seconds to buckle yourself in reduces your risk of fatal injury in a serious crash by fifty percent. There is no excuse for making the wrong decision, and if you do, you can expect to be pulled over and ticketed.”
Law enforcement agencies take a “no-excuses” approach to seat belt enforcement, with the maximum penalty of a $46 fine for a seat belt violation in New Jersey. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of how the simple, quick act of buckling up can have a lifesaving effect.
Last year, law enforcement agencies participating in the Click It or Ticket campaign issued 8,373 seatbelt citations statewide, wrote 3,315 speeding summonses, and made 278 impaired driving arrests.