Increased enforcement of seat belt laws is planned for holiday weekend

As the Memorial Day holiday approaches, the Windham County Sheriff's Department is reminding all drivers of the importance of seat belt use.

According to a news release, this annual campaign is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's “Click It or Ticket” high-visibility enforcement effort that runs from May 20 to June 2.

“We cannot overstate the importance of wearing a seat belt,” the Sheriff's Department wrote. “It's the law, but it's more than that: By far, 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 with the simple click of a seat belt.”

According to the NHTSA, in 2017, there were 10,076 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the U.S. In that same year, 55 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night weren't wearing their seat belts.

That's why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement.

In Vermont, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $100.

In 2017, 62 people were killed in auto crashes in Vermont, according to the Sheriff's Department, and 33 of them died because they didn't buckle their seat belts.

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