Friday, June 3, 2011

Click It or Ticket in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Police officers will be enforcing a “Click It or Ticket” policy from today through June 12.

The enforcement began today with a morning traffic stop on West Carson Street, near Station Square. Officers gave tickets to motorists not wearing seatbelts, and handed seatbelt information packets to everyone driving through.

Pittsburgh Police Officer Glen Aldridge says officers will be enforcing the “Click It or Ticket” policy all day and night, in all areas of the city, through Sunday, June 12.

Aldridge, a collision investigator, says he’s seen situations where seatbelts made the difference between life and death.

“Recently, I investigated a collision out in East Liberty where a car was struck. It was an SUV, and it rolled over, and two occupants were belted, and they actually walked away from the collision with no injuries whatsoever,” says Aldridge. “A few years ago, I investigated a collision of a similar nature. No-one in the vehicle was buckled. The car rolled over, one revolution, and a lady’s neck was broken. She was killed as a result.”

The Pittsburgh Policeman says he’d like to see driving without a seatbelt become a primary offense, so officers could pull over unbuckled drivers. Currently, it’s a secondary offense, meaning the driver must be pulled over for another reason before a ticket can be issued.

PennDOT Safety Press Officer Steve Cowan says last year, 524 people died in accidents without wearing seatbelts in Pennsylvania. Twenty-four of those deaths took place in Allegheny County.

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