As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday, the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety is urging everyone to buckle up.
The 2013 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign begins Monday, May 20 and runs through Monday, June 2, according to a news release from the agency. Police departments across New Jersey will crack down on motorists who are not belted.
"As we kick-off the busy summer driving season it’s important that everyone buckles up every time they go out, both day and night – no excuses," said Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky in a statement. "Officers throughout New Jersey are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing their seat belt."
Toms River is among the 124 law enforcement agencies to receive a $4,000 grant to fund seatbelt enforcement checkpoints and saturation patrols.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
Last year, 86 percent of New Jersey police agencies, or 425 of 493, participated in the Click It or Ticket campaign.
The mobilization ran from May 21 to June 3 and resulted in 29,307 seat belt citations. Police officers also wrote 981 child restraint and 4,951 speeding citations, and made 861 DWI arrests, the release stated.
About 90 percent of police departments in New Jersey are expected to participate in the effort. The following Ocean County police departments received $4,000 grants to help aid in the targeted enforcement: Barnegat, Beachwood, Berkeley, Jackson, Lakehurst, Lakewood, Manchester, Toms River and Ship Bottom.