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Dodge County Sheriff's Office participating in Click It or Ticket enforcement effort

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The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is reminding drivers about the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seat belt this fall, during the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort.

The national seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Thanksgiving holiday, runs from Nov. 24 to Nov. 28.

“We want the act of buckling up to become automatic to all drivers and passengers. It’s not just a safe thing to do – it’s the law,” said Dodge County Sheriff Steve Hespen said in a press release.

“During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we’ll be working with other law enforcement agencies to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers. In Nebraska, we know that three out of 10 occupants do not buckle up each and every trip. Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time. We see the loss of life. So often, it could have been prevented,” Hespen said.

According to the NDOT Highway Safety Office, in 2020, there were 132 (78%) unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in Nebraska. In comparison with other states, Nebraska has the fourth-worst observed seat belt usage in the United States.

Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Nebraska, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $25.

“If the enforcement effort serves to make people aware of the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider this campaign to be a success,” Hespen said. “If you know of a friend or family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up.”

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, visit https://dot.nebraska.gov/safety/hso/.

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