The nationwide Click It or Ticket seat belt awareness campaign is under way and local police agencies are advising residents to buckle up.
In Montclair, a huge electronic sign at the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Valley Road is telling everyone: Click It or Ticket.
The Montclair Police Department will be increasing enforcement of seat belt laws over Memorial Day weekend. Patrol officers will be extra vigilant during routine patrols.
Local drivers can expect increased enforcement as well.
According to police officials, failure to wear a seat belt in a front seat is a primary offense in New Jersey and probable cause to stop a vehicle. He said all front seat passengers are required to wear seat belts and children 8 to 18 years of age must wear them regardless of where they are seated.
As of January 2010, New Jersey state law requires all passengers regardless of position in a vehicle to wear a seat belt. Passengers over 18 not wearing a seat belt in a rear seat may be issued a summons as a secondary offense if the vehicle has been stopped for a primary offense. The fine for an adult violation is $46, and increases to $54 for an unbuckled child. Read more about the state's seat belt laws at www.nj.gov.
This year's Click It or Ticket campaign run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses humor to get the point across. Drivers are warned not to pretend their seat belts are on when they pass a patrol car or spot a checkpoint. The slogan: "Try a seat belt fake-out. Land a real ticket."
Officers say they can easily differentiate between a buckled passenger and a fake-out.
The NHTSA Click It or Ticket Campaign began on Monday, May 21 and runs through Sunday, June 3. To read more about the myths and reality of seat belt use, visit www.nhtsa.gov.