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Police resume seatbelt crackdown

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Once again this Memorial Day, Wisconsin authorities will try to convince more of us to buckle up, by ticketing those who don’t. The “Click It or Ticket” campaign begins Monday and runs through June second. Officers will spend more time on the roads looking for those not wearing their seat belts and shoulder harnesses.

State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable said over 100,000 tickets were issued last year for violating the buckle-up law – the second-highest among all traffic offenses in Wisconsin. Surveys show that one of every five Wisconsin motorists do not wear seat belts – more than the national and Midwest averages. Critics say the real problem is that the state’s $10-fine is not high enough. That fine never changed since buckling up became the law 26 years ago.

Gannett Wisconsin Media found that many other states began with low fines but have since raised them. Several states now charge at least $100 for seat belt violations. In Washington State, it’s $124. Since the Gannett story came out in late February, there’s been little or no talk about changing the Wisconsin penalty.