Southfield PD participates in Click It or Ticket crackdown

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published May 24, 2019

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SOUTHFIELD — Buckle up, or you might have to pay up.

To kick off the summer, through June 2, the Southfield Police Department will take part in the Click It or Ticket seat belt campaign.

The annual campaign is part of a nationwide detail — headed by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning — and is a high visibility enforcement crackdown.

Acting Chief Brian Bassett said the city of Southfield received grant funding to perform the detail.

“Click It or Ticket is happening across the entire city,” Bassett said. “We received grant funding so that we could put additional officers on the road to enforce traffic safety, and specifically the seat belt law.”

Michigan law requires that drivers, front seat passengers, and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall. Children younger than 4 must be in the back seat.

Bassett said teams of officers will be set up in different spots throughout the city for the detail.

“Usually, we work on major thoroughfares. Most likely you’ll see us on Telegraph (Road) and Southfield Road, and our major mile roads,” he said. “We’ll have multiple officers working together  — somebody doing the spotting and somebody doing the actual traffic stop.”

In some cases, officers might be undercover, but Bassett said that usually isn’t necessary.

“Sometimes it’s as simple as sitting at an intersection where vehicles come to a stop, so we can more easily see if they’re wearing a seat belt or not,” he said. “People sometimes don’t notice when a police officer is sitting right beside them.”

According to a news release from the Michigan State Police, last Memorial Day, 19 people died in traffic crashes during the holiday period, which was almost double the number from 2017.

Buckling up can reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a crash by 45%, MSP officials said in the release.

Seat belt use is the single most effective way to stay alive in the event of a crash, according to Michael Prince, OHSP director.

“Three out of four people ejected from a vehicle in a crash will die,” Prince said in a prepared statement. “Wearing a seatsbelt is the simplest thing you can do to reduce injuries and save lives. Buckle up for the ones who will miss you — every trip, every time.”

Bassett said he hopes the detail gets just one more person to buckle up.

“If we can have one more person be nervous about getting a ticket and they put on a seat belt, that’s a win for us,” Bassett said. “We’re not interested in writing tickets, but we hope 100% of people have a seat belt on already. If we can get one more person to put on a seat belt, it’s a win.”

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