Troopers crack down on Alaskans ignoring seat belt law

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A campaign to enforce Alaska's seat belt law resulted in 520 citations issued over the holiday weekend by Alaska State Troopers.

Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said troopers wrote the tickets from Friday through Monday. The total does not include citations issued by local law enforcement agencies.

The emphasis on using seat belts, shoulder restrains and age-appropriate child restraints is party of Operation CARE, which stands for Combined Accident Reduction Effort. The goal of the program is to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities.

The ''Click It or Ticket'' campaign continues throughout the summer, with additional emphasis and overtime enforcement planned for the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.

''Motorists may as well get in the habit of buckling up each and every time they get behind the wheel,'' said Col. Randy Crawford, trooper director. ''Alaska is no longer going to be a place where you can drive without a seat belt. Seat belts save lives, and we're out to make sure everyone is wearing one.''

Troopers issued 290 safety belt citations last year over Memorial Day Weekend.

The total this year included 206 on the Kenai Peninsula, 142 in the Interior, 88 in Southeast, 52 in the Matanuska-Susitna area and 32 in western Alaska.

Troopers and municipal police departments are using $270,000 from a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration grant for public education campaigns and overtime enforcement of seat belt laws.

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