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April 7, 2010

If you’re one of the few people who still don’t buckle a seat belt when driving or riding in a car, truck or SUV, it’s going to cost you. Florida law enforcement officials at the state, county and locals levels are cracking down on drivers disobeying seat belt laws. The Click It or Ticket campaign, which officially ran from March 1 to 15, but is still vigorously enforced, has resulted in 37,000 traffic tickets written, 6,500 of them for failing to buckle up.

The campaign also resulted in 10,000 speeding tickets issued to drivers and 311 arrests for operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Florida began enforcing a new seat belt law June 30, 2009, which allows law enforcement officials to stop any motorist because they are not wearing a seat belt, regardless of any other moving violations. Previously, officers could only write seat belt citations if the driver was pulled over for another infraction.

Officials wanted to stress that even though the campaign is over, their enforcement of this law is not, and they can write tickets when drivers and passengers aren’t wearing seat belts anytime they see an infraction 24/7/365.

“We do it all year round, but we’re participating in this as well,” said one Sergeant of the Orlando Police Department. “It’s a state safety initiative.”

“It’s basically just a zero-tolerance, concentrated effort to observe and cite those who violate the safety belt laws,” said a lieutenant with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. “Safety belts have a proven ability to save lives and that’s why we take part in this initiative.”

One Orlando traffic safety supervisor who also chairs the Orange County Community Traffic Safety Team said, “The real purpose behind the Click It or Ticket campaign is the public awareness of it.”

Figures provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that out of eight to ten Floridians, 81.7 percent, buckled their seat belts regularly in 2008. The national average is 83 percent with many states boasting 90 percent seat belt usage or higher.

The law allows officers to write a ticket if either the driver or front seat passenger is not buckled up. Anyone under 18 years of age riding in a vehicle must wear a seat belt regardless of where he or she is sitting.

Attorney James O. Cunningham is one Central Florida car accident lawyer who has seen firsthand the often-tragic aftermath of unrestrained drivers and passengers involved in a collision. He wholeheartedly supports the new law and stepped-up enforcement. A seat belt can literally make the difference between an injury and a death in an auto accident. If you have been injured in an auto accident or someone you care for has been injured or died in an auto accident, Orlando auto accident lawyer James O. Cunningham may be able top help you recover the compensation you may be entitled to under the law. Don’t let big insurance companies pressure you to sign documents that you don’t fully understand. Call Orlando car accident lawyer James O. Cunningham first.

Resource links:
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-03-02/news/os-click-it-or-ticket-orlando-20100302_1_safety-belts-front-seat-passengers-police-officers

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-03-19/news/os-click-it-or-ticket-20100319_1_seat-belt-ticket-traffic-law

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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