Governor Scott Walker spoke today at the Governor's Conference on Highway Safety. The conference coincides with the release of a report on safety belt usage in Wisconsin. Safety belt use in Wisconsin has reached an all-time high of approximately 83 percent--an increase of about three percent from 2012, according to a recently completed statewide observational survey by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
"Our goal is to achieve zero deaths on Wisconsin roads," Governor Walker said. "The report is welcome news for the safety of Wisconsin motorists. WisDOT has really gotten the word out about the Click It or Ticket movement and it's good that more drivers and passengers are using safety belts. Let's achieve Zero in Wisconsin."
"More people than ever in Wisconsin are buckling up, which is saving lives and reducing serious injuries from crashes," said State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable, director of WisDOT's Bureau of Transportation Safety. "However, Wisconsin still lags behind the national safety belt usage rate of 86 percent and our neighboring states all of which are more than 90 percent."
Major Huxtable says safety belt educational and enforcement efforts, like the Click It or Ticket statewide law enforcement mobilization in May and early June, are helping to increase the number of drivers and passengers who are buckling up in Wisconsin.
"This year's Click It or Ticket statewide effort was the largest, coordinated law enforcement mobilization ever in Wisconsin with approximately 375 agencies participating. The enforcement mobilization was backed by a media campaign to help increase motorists' compliance with the safety belt law," she said. "Click It or Ticket is more than just a slogan for law enforcement agencies. Whenever officers observe an unbelted motorist, they will stop the vehicle and issue a citation. Last year in Wisconsin, there were nearly 105,000 convictions for failure to fasten safety belts. Among all traffic violations in Wisconsin, safety belt convictions were second only to speeding convictions."