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March law of the month
Drivers may receive a ticket for unbuckled passengers
Drivers have a moral and legal responsibility for the safety of their passengers. That legal responsibility includes ensuring their passengers are buckled up. According to state law, drivers who allow unbuckled passengers in their vehicle may be issued a ticket.
When young children are not properly restrained in a vehicle, the driver faces even more significant penalties. A violation of child safety restraint requirements costs from $175 to $263 depending on the age of the child and the number of offenses within a three-year period. To help ensure children are properly restrained in vehicles, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation provides an instructional online video titled “How to Properly Use Child Safety Seats” at its zeroinwisconsin.gov website.
“No matter where they are seated, passengers who are unbuckled are at risk of being ejected from a vehicle or thrown around violently inside it during a crash,” says State Patrol Superintendent Stephen Fitzgerald. “In addition, unbuckled passengers during a crash can smash into other vehicle occupants with massive force causing serious or fatal injuries.”
To increase compliance with the mandatory safety belt law, the State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies continue to crack down on unbelted drivers and passengers.
“There were more than 70,000 convictions in Wisconsin for failure to fasten safety belts in 2013.” says Superintendent Fitzgerald. “Click It or Ticket is more than just a slogan in Wisconsin. When our officers see an unbelted driver or passenger, they will stop that vehicle and issue a citation.”
Steve L. Olson, email@example.com
Last modified: March 4, 2014
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