While most Alaskans are familiar with the "Click it or Ticket" slogan made known through the ad campaign of the Alaska Peace Officers Association, young drivers at Kenai Central High School (KCHS) are now equally familiar with the "Click It & Ticket" program which is a positive reinforcement program brought to KCHS by Kenai Police officer Jay Sjogren, Law Enforcement liaison for the Alaska Highway Safety Office and South Central police agencies for promoting highway safety objectives. "Alaska has a zero tolerance seat belt policy. We find you not wearing a seat belt, you get a ticket. That's what Click it or Ticket is all about. I learned of the Click it AND Ticket program last spring while attending the Alaska Strategic Traffic Enforcement Partnership Summit in Anchorage while speaking with a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official. I was informed that some of the schools in Washington State had performed the Click It AND Ticket program, so I contacted Washington State Officials and they provided me with information about how they ran the program. I then collaborated with KPD officer Mitch Langseth to bring the program to KCHS and it we made it happen. Today we had our first ticket drawing for free gas cards," Sjogren told the Dispatch.
The officers ran both pre and post program surveys, and found out that before the positive enforcement program, 20.66% of male students arriving were not wearing seatbelts and 16.55% of females were not belted, or out of the 295 surveyed 240 were belted and 55 were not, a compliance of only 82%. On May 6th with three days of ticket information handed out as students arrived at school, of the 298 students arriving at KCHS, 291 were wearing seat belts and only 7 were not, a 98% post compliance after the "Click It & Ticket" campaign.
Christianna Garcia, a sophomore at KCHS got a ticket for wearing her seat belt and last week won a $50 gas card, "When I was stopped, I was a little nervous that there was something wrong. But then I realized the ticket was for doing something right, and now winning the $50 gas card will definitely help me remember to buckle my seatbelt," said Christianna. "It's a lot better to be rewarded for doing something right than getting into trouble for doing something wrong, but basically I wear my seatbelt so I won't get hurt if I'm in an accident," said Victoria Silk who also picked a lucky $50 dollar gas card.
"The program was a lot of fun, we partnered with State Farm Insurance, the Alaska Highway Safety Office, the Kenai Police Department, the Alaska Peace Officers Association, and KCHS to start Click It AND Ticket here as kind of a test program. It's been very successful and I would like to see all local high schools participate in this event. When I was assigned to KCHS as a school resource officer, I didn't want to be a 'Gotcha' Guy' and while Click It AND Ticket was kind of a gotcha, it was a positive gotcha doing something right so here's a ticket and a chance to win. But the bottom line is that there are a lot of statistics that show when you are wearing a seatbelt you are less likely to get injured or killed in an automobile accident," said Langseth. In a five year time frame from 2005 to 2009, Alaska had 21 fatalities where teens died found not wearing their seat belt at the time of crash.
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