Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, in collaboration with the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS), has announced the commencement of New Jersey’s annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, aimed at reminding drivers and passengers about the life-saving importance of wearing seat belts.
Starting today, HTS grant funding will be utilized to mobilize law enforcement agencies across the state, ensuring that drivers and passengers who choose not to buckle up face consequences. The campaign will run through June 4.
This enforcement initiative comes as HTS continues its dedicated efforts to reduce fatalities on New Jersey’s roadways. Recent data reveals that in 2021 alone, 160 fatalities were attributed to individuals not wearing seat belts, with an alarming 47 percent of all motor vehicle occupant fatalities involving unrestrained individuals. Moreover, analysis over the past five years indicates that nearly a quarter (24 percent) of all unrestrained occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes fell within the 25 to 34 age range.
Attorney General Platkin emphasized the urgency of addressing preventable deaths resulting from motor vehicle-related incidents, stating, “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. 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, HTS has allocated $798,350 in funding to 134 law enforcement agencies across New Jersey to support increased road patrols, seat belt checkpoints, and other enforcement initiatives during the “Click It or Ticket” campaign.
Michael J. Rizol Jr., Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, emphasized the importance of wearing seat belts consistently, stating, “New Jerseyans need to grasp how important it is to buckle up, every time, anywhere you are going. 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 in New Jersey adopt a “no-excuses” approach to seat belt enforcement, imposing a maximum penalty of a $46 fine for a seat belt violation. The ultimate goal of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign is to raise awareness regarding how the simple, yet swift act of buckling up can have a life-saving impact.
Last year, participating law enforcement agencies issued a total of 8,373 seat belt citations statewide during the Click It or Ticket campaign. Additionally, they wrote 3,315 speeding summonses and made 278 impaired driving arrests, underscoring the commitment of law enforcement to ensuring road safety.