‘Click it or Ticket’ shows rising numbersPublished 7:39pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Twenty years after “Click It or Ticket” was launched, Beaufort County law enforcement continues to issue plenty of citations for seat belt violations during the biannual two-week crack down.
Over 11,000 citations were issued to North Carolina drivers and passengers from May 20 to June 2. Of those, 150 were issued in Beaufort County, and 13 of those were child passenger safety violations.
“The safety of everyone who travels our roadways is always a top priority,” said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata in a press release. “Our first-in-the-nation ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign reminds us that while we’ve made significant progress we still have work to do to encourage every driver and passenger to buckle up.”
Since the “Click It or Ticket” initiative began, Beaufort County has fluctuated in the number of violations cited. But from 2008 to 2013, the number has steadily risen, as have the number of total traffic violations — violations that include uninsured motorists, driving with no license, driving with license revoked, expired registration and others.
According to Washington Police and Fire Director Stacy Drakeford, the goal of initiatives like “Click It or Ticket” is to ratchet up awareness.
“I think it makes people be more responsible for their behavior when they know these types of campaigns are being conducted throughout the state,” Drakeford said. “They’re more likely to not participate in that type of behavior. Basically, that’s what the process is: changing a behavior.”
For some, economic hardship may be contributing to the numbers of uninsured drivers.
“They take a risk and hope that they won’t get caught,” Drakeford explained. “When people take risks they don’t think about the aftermath of that risk — if they don’t have insurance, it will be harder to get that insurance.”
For others, assimilating to state law might be part of the reason for the steadily rising numbers.
“The way I see it, you have a whole new culture of people who are starting to drive now … they may not understand the severity of the charges,” he said.
Washington Police hosted two of Beaufort County’s 14 checkpoints during the “Click It or Ticket” initiative. Drakeford said more checkpoints are in the works for the upcoming “Booze It & Lose It” campaign over Fourth of July.