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Red Lake joins seat belt crackdown

The Red Lake Tribal Police Department will join local and national law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates for the 2011 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization May 23-June 5.

During this mobilization, officers will be cracking down on motorists who fail to wear their seat belt both day and night.

Because nighttime passenger vehicle occupants are among those least likely to buckle up and most likely to die in crashes when unrestrained, nighttime enforcement has become a priority of the Click It or Ticket mobilization.

Of those who died in nighttime crashes in 2009 62 percent were not wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes.

In 2009, 11,593 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m., according to the National Highway Safety Administration.

"Many more nighttime traffic deaths can be prevented if more motorists simply started wearing their seat belts," said Red Lake Traffic Safety Officer Alexandra Dow. "That's why the Red Lake Tribal Police Department is strongly supporting enhanced nighttime enforcement of seat belt laws during the ... campaign. We will be out in force to remind drivers and occupants to always wear their seat belts- both day and night."

High-visibility enforcement such as Click It or Ticket mobilization is credited with increasing the national belt usage rate from 58 percent in 1994 to an observed usage rate of 85 percent in 2010. Belt use saves thousands of lives each year across America. In 2009 alone, seat belts saved 12,713 lives nationwide.

"Law enforcement will be cracking down on Click It or Ticket violators around the clock. Local motorists should be prepared to buckle up. If law enforcement finds you on the road unbuckled anytime or anywhere, you can expect to get a ticket-not a warning. No excuses and no exceptions," said Dow.