Newtown Police: 'No Warnings and No Excuses'

The department is kicking off the 2012 "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign.

Newtown police have a message for motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts — beware.

The town is joining Bethel, Brookfield, Redding and Ridgefield police departments and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock during the 2012 Click It or Ticket campaign.

The effort kicks off today, Dec. 3, and extends through Dec. 16 to help save lives by cracking down on those who don't buckle up.

"Too many drivers and passengers on the road at night are not wearing their seat belts, and it all too often ends in tragedy," said Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe. "Our goal is to save more lives, so the Newtown Police Department joined by the Bethel, Brookfield, Redding and Ridgefield Police Departments will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock."

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010 nationally, 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle crashes overnight (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours.

Seat belt use saves thousands of lives across America each year. NHTSA statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide.

Younger motorists and men are particularly at risk. NHTSA data shows that among teen and young adult passenger vehicle occupants in 2010, ages 18-34, which were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, 62 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash — the highest percentage of any age group. The number jumps to 66 percent when just men in this age group are included.

While this year's Click It or Ticket campaign runs from Dec. 3 through Dec. 16, Newtown police said motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

"Those who choose not to wear a seat belt will feel the heat from our officers who will be out cracking down on Click It or Ticket violators," Kehoe said. "Motorists should buckle up every time they go out, both day and night. Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone not buckled up ... no warnings and no excuses. Click It or Ticket."

The above report is based on a press release from the Newtown Police Department.

Neil Baldino December 03, 2012 at 12:18 PM
They should also crack down on motorists using cell phones without hands free devices. Just as important.
yoda December 03, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Local Cops, Volunteers Pack Care Packages For Connecticut Troops! Where’s this story????
Joe December 03, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I wonder how many motorists are killed each year going from Hawley School to the Hardware Store without a seat belt. Or from the fields at Fairfield Hills to the Middle School..... This is just another money-grab, another tax. They're not saving any lives giving out tickets to motorists pulling into the Big Y. Give me a break.....
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com December 03, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I certainly am in favor of seat belts, but honestly i would prefer the Police Department focus on speeding, not just on Queen Street, but all over town. Our citizens deserve equal protection.
dave T December 03, 2012 at 02:51 PM
completely agree... although someone wearing a seat belt is common sense and a personal decision. Distracted driving puts me and everyone else in danger. The prior is a waste of resource while the latter is an ever increasing hazard to everyone...
James December 03, 2012 at 04:18 PM
let's just employ more police officers and we can cover every violation in the book what a joke, how much do you make a year standing on rte 25 while 4 dopes pave a do the work of 2 on a section of the road for no apparent benefit to tax holders. Great waste more of my tax dollars, how about some street lights like everyother town has but us, although we are one of highest property taxed towns, we get what another field that takes 2 years to finish.
LP December 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Joe - I think the point is to change the mindset of people. In other words, get everyone used to buckling up so that seatbelt is on when/if something happens while traveling in a more dangerous situation. Totally agree with you that the chances of something happening when going from Hawley School to the Hardware Store are slim. I just don't think that is the point of this campaign. Personally, I like having my seatbelt on. I know I'll never regret wearing it, but would regret NOT wearing it that one, crazy time I need it. I buckle up all the time - even when just moving my car to a different spot in the same parking lot. I remember the damage done to a high school friend's face back in the days when no one wore seatbelts and she was rear-ended in a lot. Those were the days when we used to cut the belts out of the cars so we didn't have to sit on them, or pushed them through the seat...
Paul Alexander December 03, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Most new law enforcement initiatives in Newtown (this one for sure) are a "response increase" initiative, disguised as a public safety initiative, so that larger budgets/staff/facilities can be justified by law enforcement.
Paul Alexander December 03, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Oh...and a citation revenue increase initiative disguised as a public safety initiative.
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com December 03, 2012 at 05:10 PM
No question, buckle up. But last week another resident was tragically killed on RT 25, Main Street. This is not the first pedestrian killed on Main street while trying to cross.We need equal protection for pedestrians on all of our street, not just Queen Street.
Paul Alexander December 03, 2012 at 05:15 PM
People are naive if they don’t think that the leadership of the Newtown PD doesn’t sit around over coffee and donuts thinking about how they can increase their response rate. ESPECIALLY when they know that the town budget is getting tighter.
Daniel Patti December 03, 2012 at 07:00 PM
This is absurd. Numerous studies show speeding, talking on phones and texting cause accidents but Newtown PD wants to crack down on seat belts.
Gary Jeanfaivre (Editor) December 03, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Hi Yoda, we ran a story on that on Nov. 25. Here's the link: http://patch.com/A-zMj0
Mr D. December 03, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Seat belts reduce the chance of dying in a accident by about 50% so as a public safety initiative it's not without merit. Although personally I'd rather let people decide; amend the law so that you can't sue for injuries or collect insurance if not wearing a seat belt, regardless of who's at fault - you'd see compliance go up to 99% in no time!
Paul Alexander December 03, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Mr. D., How dare you propose a market based solution in place of a government based solution. Get your mind right, Sir!
Dick Ruscoe December 03, 2012 at 08:45 PM
How much $$$$ was spent in total to: 1) Use those "trial" speed bumps, for at least 2 summers, including cost of purchase, labor to assemble / disassemble, damage by snowplows, then only to remove & pave with asphalt??? 2)Why place these "experiments" on two roadways that i'm aware of, Queen Street & Poverty Hollow Rd. (let me know where there are more, please) at the assumed cost to the general taxpaying public, while leaving the condition of disrepair, i.e. potholes, frost heaves, broken asphalt ?? It would seem to me that the money spent would have been put to better use in repairing these road surfaces (as well as others) and installing more posted speed and caution signs and using radar displays backed up by occasional police presence. In closing, why not have the residents ONLY - of those roads with these extraordinary speed bumps pay for them?? I see people speeding on roads where the poor folks live, too!!
Mr D. December 03, 2012 at 08:55 PM
"How dare you propose a market based solution in place of a government based solution. Get your mind right, Sir!" LOL! I forgot this is the People's Republik of Connecticut!
David Klang December 03, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Pretty silly use of resources. I feel naked if I'm not wearing my seatbelt, but really, it puts you at risk, no one else.
yoda December 03, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Can't speed on queen street anymore BIG speed bumps!!!
yoda December 03, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I know for a fact the Chief of Police works extreamly hard and earns that paycheck he makes, as for the Capt and LT, not sure what they do.
yoda December 03, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Thanks Gary!
Ali Abdulah December 03, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Come on Chief, WAKE UP, the people who don't use seat belts are nothing compared to the cell phone abuse in town. These people are a problen for everyone. Seems like half the women in town can't get to the Big Y and back home without texting and yakking on the cell phone.
Tired of idiots December 03, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Speed bumps on Poverty Hollow too? Isn't it quite the co-inky-dink that the "squeaky wheel" resident of Queen St, the one who started whining about installing the speed bumps the minute he moved into his old homestead, is a former resident of Poverty Hollow Rd?
Jessica December 04, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Excuse me Irv but I see plenty of men in business suits talking on their cell phones or with their heads down texting and not paying attention too at all times of the day in this town. You could have stopped at the first paragraph and we would have gotten your point.
Anonymous December 04, 2012 at 01:24 AM
The speed bumps in question are on Key Rock, not Poverty Hollow (as far as I am aware) and as a resident who had several instances of my mailbox being taken out and twice seen people pass the stopped school bus picking up my child I can safely say that no amount of additional signage or reduction in the legal limit was going to help. I wish we had a few more on Key Rock to stop people from taking off like a rocket the moment they get over the last hump. On roads with chronic speeding issues the humps seem to be the only thing that works. Don't want to pay for them, then slow the heck down.
yoda December 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM
http://youtu.be/NkOGY112PnM Enjoy Boys, a big storm is coming!!!!
Max Power December 07, 2012 at 12:20 PM
This one is really simple folks. It's the law to wear your seatbelt, and on top of it all, it could save your life. If you obey the law then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. I'm sure most that are complaining here don't obey this law. Did you hear about the high school students who were rear-ended on the highway by a drunk driver last week? Two of them died, one of whom was ejected from the vehicle. Would it have been different if they had been wearing seatbelts? Could a prior ticket in a Big Y parking lot have changed their minds about wearing seat belts? We'll never know, because the police probably never enforced the seat belt law with them. Aren't they in the age group talked about in this article.
eleni russell December 07, 2012 at 06:13 PM
i'm so sick and tired of law enforcement telling me to wear a seat belt..why not go after the drunk drivers absolutely out to kill someone, and the cell phone users, i've seen cops drive right by someone blatently using their cell phone, cops cant be bothered even when the perpetrator is in sight. so please..stop the nonsense, go after those who might kill us. Be on the look out for drunks, cell phone abusers, and lets not forget the ones who speed right through red lights and stop signs..go after them.
Average Joe December 12, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Why is it when there is a seatbelt wave everyone gets upset and says they should be looking for drunks. Yet when they do DUI checkpoints people complain its a waste of money. I guess they are wrong no matter which law they are enforcing, not like that's their job.


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