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Click It or Ticket Hits the Streets

The Norwalk Police Department is stepping up its nighttime enforcement of seatbelt laws through Nov. 21 as it participates in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Click It or Ticket campaign. The first seatbelt checkpoint was scheduled for this morning along Route 1.

In 2008, 12,671 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m., according to the NHTSA. Nearly two-thirds of those who died were not wearing seatbelts, compared with 45 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed from 6 a.m. to 5:59 p.m.

"Nighttime drivers and passengers continue to be among those least likely to wear seatbelts ," Lt. Paul Resnick said in a statement. "Consequently, they are also among those most likely to die in motor vehicle crashes. That's why the Norwalk Police Department is supporting enhanced nighttime enforcement of belt laws."

High-visibility enforcement such as the Click It or Ticket mobilization is credited with increasing the national seatbelt usage rate from 58 percent in 1994 to an observed usage rate of 84 percent in 2009. Belt use saves thousands of lives each year nationwide. In 2008, seatbelts saved 13,250 lives nationwide and 89 in Connecticut.

"Local motorists should be prepared for stepped up Click It or Ticket activities that will take place around the clock," Chief Harry Rilling said in a statement. "If law enforcement finds you on the road unbuckled anytime or anywhere, you can expect to get a ticket — not a warning. No excuses and no exceptions."

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