INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Wearing a seat belt is the law but an alarming number of Indiana drivers aren’t following it. IMPD cited more than 1,000 drivers in Marion County for not wearing seat belts from late May to early June.
This enforcement took place over 24 days for the national Click It or Ticket campaign. While this campaign does get people paying up, IMPD Lieutenant Richard Kivett said it’s not changing behavior anymore.
To many, it’s commonplace. You get in the car, and you buckle up. Data shows 92 percent of Indiana drivers wore seat belts in 2016 and for good reason.
The CDC reports car crashes are the leading cause of death for people up to 54-years-old. Seat belts stop you from going airborne during a crash.
Indiana data shows more than 800 people died from car crashes in 2015, nearly one third weren’t wearing seat belts.
“If you don’t wear seat belts you’re kind of crazy,” said Bill Holland of Indianapolis.
Yet every year police departments across the United States take part in the Click It or Ticket campaign.
IMPD has for years. People 24-Hour News 8 spoke with believed the number of citations would be in the low hundreds. And they were surprised when told it was more than 1,000.
“Wow in 24 days,” said Terrell Anderson of Indianapolis. “Wow.”
“That really is shocking that so many people don’t care about their lives,” said Susan Draves of Crothersville.
But if everyone knows to wear a seat belt, why do so many people not follow the law?
“Some of them are just hardcore and don’t believe in them…I do have people who have health issues,” said Lt. Kivett.
Federal funds are still distributed to departments across the country for the annual campaign. Progress has made from 10 years ago; most people now wear seat belts, which Kivett said is encouraging.
But he said that improvement likely won’t continue.
“I think we’ve reached a plateau where the people who aren’t wearing their seat belts just refuse to give up and won’t wear their seat belts,” he said
The fine for a seat belt citation is $25, meaning IMPD collected more than $25,000. Half goes to the state and the other half supports city traffic court.
Data shows in 2015, nearly 14,000 lives were saved because people wore their seat belts.
For more information regarding the Click It or Ticket Click It or Ticket campaign, click here.