If you don't already buckle up, you may want to start. The national 'Click it or Ticket' campaign is underway, that means a $10 citation for anyone who is caught not wearing a safety belt.
Each year around Memorial Day, for two weeks law enforcement agencies mobilize in an effort to make motorists aware that they should wear a seat belt every time they're in a vehicle.
According to Patrol Captain Dwayne Dachel of the Wausau Police Department, last year officers gave 400 citations and warnings during the two week period.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over the last five years more than three million seat belt citations were issued during the annual crackdown.
"It's a lot nicer now that it's a primary enforcement tool, we don't have to have any other reason to stop people but we just see they're not wearing their seat belt," said Cpt. Dachel.
He says stopping them gives officers a chance to educate motorists on driving safety.
Wisconsin's safety belt use rate is 79 percent, below the national average of 86 percent.
We know that consistent safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people from being ejected from a vehicle or thrown around inside the vehicle during a crash.
Seat belts save lives, and according to the Department of Transportation, traffic deaths in the state so far this year have increased compared with the same time last year.
'Click it or Ticket' is especially important for young people. Only 68 percent of drivers aged 16-25 buckle up. That's the lowest seat belt use rate of any age group in Wisconsin.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults nationwide.
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