According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,300 lives could be saved eachyear if people would wear their seatbelts.
It'swhy police departments across the country, including here in the Roanoke Valley, participate in the Click it or Ticketcampaign.
Wearing a seatbelt is something that you'd thinkwould be second nature to people, but Roanoke County Police say it's prettyeye opening the number of folks who choose not to, which is why they say campaignslike these are necessary.
Their most recent Click it or Ticket enforcement period ran from May 20 through June 2.
During that two-week span, theyincreased patrols on the roads and targeted specific locations forenforcement along 460 and around Roanoke County high schools, for example.
They also ran a public educationcampaign to raise awareness about the importance of wearing a seatbelt and theconsequences for not doing so.
During the enforcement period, Roanoke County Police wrote approximately 1,000 tickets forany kind of traffic infraction. More than 180 of those, nearly 20percent, were for people not wearing their seatbelts.
Officers say the goal of thiscampaign was not to write those tickets, but to hopefully change people'sattitudes, which is an ongoing mission of theirs.
"Even though it's just a two week campaign withincreased enforcement and increased education, 12 months out of the year, we'regoing to be out enforcing it," said Sgt. Tim Wyatt with the Roanoke County Police Department.
Police point out that all fines forseat belt violations go directly to the state, so there's no incentive forthem to write tickets other than to save lives.