Seat belt patrols also snare drunks, fugitives

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CLARK COUNTY — Extra police officers were on patrol in Clark County between May 23 and June 5, during a nighttime crackdown on drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts.

The officers, with their overtime funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, wrote 275 tickets. Those included 90 for seat-belt violations, two for DUI, 78 for speeding and 14 for various aggressive driving violations, according to a commission bulletin.

In addition, officers captured two fugitives and made eight arrests for misdemeanor warrants. They issued nine tickets for cellphone violations, 13 for being uninsured and 21 for driving with suspended or revoked licenses.

The Clark County Target Zero Task Force, which aims for zero traffic deaths in a future year, was involved in the effort.

The reason for seat-belt ticketing? Studies say a person wearing a seat belt has a 70 percent better chance of surviving a crash than someone not buckled, the bulletin said. As a result, state law requires that drivers and passengers use safety restraints.

Statewide, officers wrote 6,681 tickets and 2,994 of those were for seat-belt violations.

To learn more, visit http://www.wtsc.wa.gov.