“Click It or Ticket” Campaign Berrien County, Michigan - As the Memorial Day holiday approaches, Berrien County Law Enforcement Agencies are reminding drivers about the importance of seat belt use. This annual campaign is part of the national “Click It or Ticket” high-visibility enforcement period, which runs from May 22 to June 4, 2023. The national seat belt campaign runs concurrent with the start of the busy summer travel season with the goal of reducing traffic deaths and serious injuries. During the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, we’ll be working with our fellow law enforcement officers across the state to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers to buckle up. We cannot overstate the importance of wearing a seat belt. It’s the law, but more than that buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 254 people were killed in Michigan traffic crashes during 2021 who not wearing a seat belt. That is an increase of 11.4 percent over the 2020, when there were 228 fatalities. During the 2021 Memorial Day weekend, there were 14 fatal crashes on Michigan roadways that resulted in 14 fatalities. From 2019 to 2022, the seat belt usage rate in Michigan fell from 94.4 percent to 92.9 percent. There are nearly 30 Michigan counties that fall below the state use rate. The national seat belt usage rate in 2021 was 90.4 percent. “We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time. We see the loss of life. So often, these could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt,” Sheriff L. Paul Bailey stated. In addition, young adults are at a higher risk of being killed because of riding unrestrained. 60% of young adults from ages 18 to 34 who were killed in 2020 while riding in passenger vehicles while not buckled up—one of the highest percentages for all age groups. Michigan law requires drivers, front-seat passengers, and passengers 15 years of age and younger in any seat to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4' 9" tall. Children under 4 years old must be in the back seat. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning coordinates the “Click It or Ticket” effort, which is supported by federal traffic safety funds through National Highway Traffic Safety Association.