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Two-week statewide seat belt crackdown begins today

Hundreds of law enforcement agencies across Florida are kicking off a "Click it or Ticket'' campaign Monday targeting motorists who drive without wearing seat belts.

Police will be stationed at major intersections and school zones ticketing drivers and passengers, including children under 18, who do not buckle up.

The statewide campaign runs through March 15.

In Pinellas County, participating agencies include the Kenneth City and Largo police departments. Dade City and New Port Richey will issue tickets in Pasco County. The Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Department of Transportation will join in the crackdown.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is also issuing citations throughout the county, especially around high schools. Cpl. Darren Barlow said he hopes young adults will be aware and buckle up.

He stressed the importance of seat belt safety throughout the year, not just during Click it or Ticket.

"A seat belt is critical in accidents," he said. "I've seen firsthand people who've lost their lives to not wearing a seat belt. They're just so much more likely to survive an accident if they're wearing a seat belt."

Safety belts are 80 percent effective in reducing fatalities in light trucks during rollover crashes. They also help prevent people from being thrown out of vehicles during a crash, reducing the risk of death, law enforcement officials said.

Two-week statewide seat belt crackdown begins today 03/01/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 1, 2010 11:44am]
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