Program aims at increasing seat-belt use

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Drivers who don’t fasten their seatbelts could be facing stiff fines as police increase enforcement of Maine’s seat-belt laws.

From now until June 5, the Westbrook police will be taking part in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Click It or Ticket” program. The goal of the program is to boost seat-belt use, especially among young drivers.

Police Capt. Tom Roth said officers would be conducting increased traffic patrols in the city. He said officers would be checking anyone stopped for a traffic violation to make sure they were wearing their seat belt and would issue a ticket for any violation of the seat belt law. In addition, Roth said teams of officers would also be using radar gus to conduct speed patrols. He said anyone stopped for speeding who was not wearing their seat belt would recieve a ticket for that violation. The fine for driving without a seat belt in Maine is $65.

Roth said that police would take any violations of the seat belt law very seriously, and would not be issuing any warnings. “As police officers, we see firsthand the severe injuries and deaths that typically result from motor vehicle accidents when drivers and passengers are not wearing safety belts,” Roth said. “During this enforcement initiative, we will have zero tolerance for anyone not buckled up. Unless you want to risk a ticket, or worse, your life, remember to wear your seat belt.”

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