In effort to save lives in Phoenix area car accidents, seat belt enforcement to increase

With the goal of reducing injuries and fatalities in Arizona car crashes, Monday marked the start of a new campaign for vehicle safety in Mesa and Tempe, according to azcentral.com. Police in both cities received a $20,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to begin project “Click it or Ticket, Next Generation.”

The two week project will utilize seat belt enforcement zones to promote seat belt usage as well as the use of child safety seats. Drivers who choose not to wear seat belts or use child safety seats will be fined. Mesa has a $99.25 fine for failure to wear a seat belt and a $168.25 fine for failure to use a child safety seat. Neighboring Tempe fines drivers $75 for failure to wear a seat belt and $149 for failure to use a child safety seat.

Extra police officers will staff the seat belt enforcement zones where they will issue citations without warning. The grants from the Governor’s Office will pay for the extra staffing expenses as well as operational costs.

Mesa used a similar seat belt campaign last year and issued 356 fines for failure to wear a seat belt. Last year’s campaign was only one week long.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) states that seat belts save more than 13,000 lives each year. NHTSA also notes that seat belts are the most effective protection for automobile occupants in a crash.