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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s the 20th year for the “Click it or Ticket” campaign in North Carolina, and officers are still pulling over many of you for not wearing your seat belts.

Just in time for Memorial Day, law enforcement is again out to remind you to buckle up.

Richard Wilkinson says he does not know why he got pulled over this morning.

“Well, we’ll see. I’m waiting for the officer,” he said.

Waiting, like many other drivers, for a ticket.

“We’re going to still write citations and make sure people buckle up,” Wilmington Police Cpl. Adam Schwartzel said.

It’s all part of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s “Click it or Ticket” campaign. As law enforcement officers start up the 20th year of the program they say they’re surprised by how many drivers still don’t wear their seat belts.

“There’s billboards, there’s advertisements, and we want people to understand that this is not going away,” Cpl. Schwartzel said.

Police say it’s easy to remember to buckle up. After you get in your car, make buckling in the first thing you do.

“People will check their mirrors, they’ll adjust the seat and the air conditioning, but they won’t buckle up,” Schwartzel said.

When they don’t and they crash their car, law enforcement officers say it’s a horrible scene.

“It’s chaotic,” Schwartzel said. “Almost like a disaster scene. A little mini disaster.”

But thanks to “Click it or Ticket” there are fewer of those kinds of crashes. The North Carolina Department of Transportation says the number of fatal crashes involving unbelted passengers was down from more than 38,000 in 1992 to about 8,100 last year.

“It works,” Schwartzel said. “It does.”

Even if it does keep drivers like Wilkinson waiting.

“I’m not real happy with the whole way they do it, but I think it’s a good idea,” Wilkinson said. “People need to wear their seat belts.”

Advice Wilkinson might want to follow now. He’s getting a ticket because he also failed to click it.

Wilkinson was one of 94 people cited for a seat belt violation in Wednesday’s operation. In all police made 104 charges, including two for texting, four for speeding, one for drug possession and three for no driver license.

The “Click it or Ticket” campaign runs through the memorial day holiday weekend and ends June 2.


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