RACINE COUNTY — Troopers with the Wisconsin State Patrol are out monitoring the roadways looking for drivers who are not buckled up. It's part of their annual "Click It or Ticket" campaign.
As a sergeant for the State Patrol, Kyle Amlong has seen it all, including the importance of wearing a seatbelt.
"One of my inspectors was hit at 80 miles per hour wearing his seatbelt, and it probably helped him dramatically," said Sgt. Amlong.
Wisconsin’s primary seat belt law went into place in 2009. It allows officers to stop and cite motorists for failing to wear a seat belt. On Thursday, Amlong pulled over and issued two $10 citations to a driver and his passenger traveling in Mount Pleasant.
"The driver will receive a warning as well. It's the driver's responsibility to make sure all the occupants are wearing a seatbelt," said Sgt. Amlong.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 89% of Wisconsinites wear their seatbelt. But it's the 11% who don't who accounted for 43% of traffic fatalities in 2020. Of that 11%, Sgt. Amlong said about half of the drivers were between the ages of 20-24 years old.
"Meaning the younger generations are the ones we really want to target," said Sgt. Amlong.
Sgt. Amlong said it's important for drivers to wear their seatbelt every time they get behind the wheel, even if they are traveling a short distance.
"It becomes a habit if you do it over and over. The seatbelt clearly is going to save your life," said Sgt. Amlong.
The "Click It or Ticket" campaign runs through June 6.