Drivers must ‘click it’ or face fines

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Staff Writer

Drivers in Pike County will need to make sure to buckle up when on the road during the next two weeks, as city and county law enforcement agencies participate in the statewide "Click It or Ticket" campaign.

The "Click It or Ticket" campaign is an initiative launched by Gov. Don Siegelman and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs in order to reduce the number of traffic deaths and injuries caused by passengers not buckling their safety belts. Through the initiative, state, county and local law enforcement will conduct large-scale enforcement of the state’s seatbelt laws through the use of roadblocks.

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Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport said Brundidge police would be participating fully in the statewide campaign.

"We will have roadblocks set up throughout the city to conduct the inspections," Davenport said. "Our primary area of concern will be safety belts and child restraints, but we will be looking for other violations such as lights, insurance and registration."

Brundidge police will have roadblocks set up on Highway 93 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 25 and on Galloway Road from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 26.

Drivers will be fined if they are found not wearing their seatbelt.

"There will be no exceptions," Davenport said.

The Pike County Sheriff’s Department will also be participating in the campaign, with roadblocks set up on County Roads 1 and 6 and on Highways 87, 125, 130 and 223. The roadblocks will be set up on March 26 and 27 and June 1.

Sheriff Russell Thomas said the sheriff’s department goal in this campaign is education.

"Our main goal in this campaign is education," he said. "Not to just hand out citations to people but to educate them about seat belt safety so they can protect themselves and their passengers."

Thomas said he understands when people feel it should be their choice whether or not to buckle up, but that the law still must be enforced.

"I can see both sides of the issue but the current law is that seat belts have to be buckled and that is what we have to enforce," Thomas said. "The fact is that it is safer if people do buckle up."

Davenport agrees safety is what this campaign is all about.

"The simple reason for doing this is seatbelts save lives," Davenport said. "I’ve seen cars that had little or no external damage and the person inside is killed because they weren’t wearing a seat belt. I’ve seen little babies thrown against the windshield and killed because they weren’t buckled up.

"The bottomline is that seat belts save lives."

The Alabama Department of Public Safety began setting up road blocks on May 19 and will continue with roadblocks set up on Highway 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 27, Highway 125 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on June 28 and on Highway 93 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 2.

The Troy Police Department will not be participating in the "Click It or Ticket" campaign.