Police Urge Drivers to Buckle Up

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department is teaming up with other Missouri law enforcement agencies this week for the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign. The state hopes to raise awareness on the seriousness of wearing a seat belt and reduce on the road fatalities. Seven out of ten people killed in traffic accidents in Missouri are a result of not wearing a seat belt. During last year's campaign, traffic officers wrote more than 5,500 seat belt tickets.

Jefferson City Captain Doug Shoemaker said according to Missouri law, drivers cannot be pulled over for a seat belt violation alone.

"A lot of times people see us on the road and then they put on their seat belt," Shoemaker said. "If we pull someone over for speeding, or forgetting to put on a blinker, or a rolling stop, things like that, and they are not wearing a seat belt, then they will get a ticket for that violation as well as the seat belt."

Christi Wolverton said she will accept responsibility if she ever got a seat belt violation, but she is most concerned about her kids.

"I deserve to get a ticket if I am not wearing a seat belt," Wolverton said. "But as a mother, I have to set the example and make sure they understand the importance of wearing a seat belt early."

Missouri has a 76 percent seat belt usage rate, which is well below the 85 percent national average rate. The state wants to post message boards on roads about seat belt awareness and partner with high schools to adopt seat belt policies. The state offers a website on the "Arrive Alive" campaign here. Click It or Ticket runs through June 5th.