Sheboygan County sheriff's deputies increase patrols for seat belt safety

Posted at 9:00 AM, Apr 25, 2017
Click it or Ticket, is the yearly campaign Sheboygan County drivers are getting an head start on thanks to a state grant to the Sheriff's Department.
Starting this month sheriff's deputies increased patrols for un-belted drivers; and since April is Distracted Driving Awareness month, they're also watching for careless drivers.  
"Surprisingly isn't that hard to find a lot of people don't wear their seat belts," Sheboygan Sheriff Deputy Josh Gruenwald said.
This is alarming, combined with the knowledge that more than 100 drivers died in distracted driving crashes across the state last year. Deputy Gruenwald says on average he gives out at least ten tickets a shift for belt-less drivers. 
Tyler Lamb completely supports seat belt enforcement and buckles up every time. He says it's very necessary.
"If you get into an accident and you're not wearing a safety belt, I've seen people get severely injured, compared to people that are wearing their seat belt... I've been in that situation," Lamb said. "I've hit a tree, wearing my seat belt. I didn't get hurt as bad as I would have ,if I wasn't wearing my seat belt."
For at least four hours a day, throughout Sheboygan County, Deputy Gruenwald watches for drivers who aren't wearing their seat belts and other hazardous issues like texting or eating while driving. He says the goal isn't to give out several tickets, but to correct these dangerous behaviors. 
"People are going to see us out here,"  explains Deputy Gruenwald. "They're gonna know that we're out here looking for things like this. Hopefully it'll be a personal reminder to every driver that sees us pulling someone over, that they should stop doing whatever it is that they might be doing, that they shouldn't be."
Now since this is a newer initiative the sheriff's department won't have official numbers on whether or not more drivers are buckling up. But deputies are hopeful for a change. While Distracted Driving Awareness Month will end in a few days, the official Click it or Ticket campaign will start on May 22nd and run until June 4th, individual states will start within that time frame. 
For more information on Click It or Ticket, click here.
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