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MPD to begin Click It or Ticket program on Friday

The Morgantown Police Department is conducting high-visibility seat belt enforcement as part of the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program Click It or Ticket campaign. This enforcement effort will run Friday through Aug. 22.

Additional officers will be deployed on special traffic patrols specifically to stop and ticket drivers for failing to use safety belts. This effort works toward reducing the number of fatalities that occur when drivers and passengers fail to buckle up.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released preliminary estimates of crash fatalities in 2020 involving motor vehicle occupants, motorcyclists and people walking and biking. In 2020, Americans drove less but more people died on the roadways. An estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle crashes — the largest projected number of fatalities since 2007. That is an increase of 7.2% as compared to the 36,096 fatalities reported in 2019.

The main behaviors that drove this increase include impaired driving, speeding and failure to wear a seat belt. Two of the largest increases from 2019-20 were: occupant ejection (up 20%) and unrestrained occupants of passenger vehicles (up 15%).

The Morgantown Police Department is reminding all drivers and passengers that West Virginia law requires everyone under    18 to be properly secured in a safety belt or child safety seat, no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle. In addition, West Virginia law requires everyone in the front seat of vehicles to be properly restrained, regardless of age. The penalty for a violation of the safety belt law is a $25 fine.

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