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Click-it-or-Ticket - 2011-style

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Click-it-or-Ticket - 2011-style

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 25, 2011


From the first line of the press release by IDOT on May 13, 2011: "SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and law enforcement officials today announced the start of the 2011 Click It or Ticket mobilization focusing on nighttime law violators across the state."

So when was Woodstock P.D. out on Route 47, spending its grant money and shaking a few motorists upside-down until $75 fell out of their pockets? 12:00PM-4:00PM, maybe, on May 18? I'm waiting now for the response from Woodstock P.D. to learn how many tickets (and how many warnings, if any) they wrote and how much manpower was used.

A short clip in The Woodstock Independent today mentioned that Illinois seat belt compliance is at an all-time high of 92.6%. The state's goal is to increase it to 93% this year.

What will the State of Illinois (that's we, the taxpayers) spend for this 0.4%? Oh, wait; it's Federal money.

From that same State press release (hold onto your hats!):

"A total of $1.58 million in federal safety dollars has been made available to the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Police and more than 500 local law enforcement agencies to provide additional safety belt and impaired driving patrols during the two-week mobilization period. The federal dollars will also fund more than 1,200 safety belt enforcement zones and 1,000 safety belt saturation patrols. Fifty percent or more of these patrols will occur during late-night hours (11 p.m.-6 a.m.). The mobilization also includes impaired driving enforcement, including more than 60 roadside safety checks."

That's $1,580,000. That's ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY DOLLARS.

Assuming that police officers are fully utilized during their workweeks, for which they are paid salaries, then does this grant money pay them at overtime rates to write what are popularly called (OK, I'm not going to use that word here) tickets?

Sure, they find other violations; wanted persons, uninsured motorists, drivers operating while licenses are suspended, but that's not the purpose of the grant, except for the almost after-thought of looking for impaired drivers. For that, all the cops have to do is park near Offsides or Niko's Red Mill or the bars on the Square at closing time.

Instead of a seatbelt compliance detail of five cops and five squad cars, how about using that electronic sign on the trailer? Just program it to read, "BUCKLE UP - NOW!"

As you can tell, I don't like the primary aspect of enforcement of the seatbelt law. I think it's stupid to drive without fastening your seatbelt.

How much effort and how much money do YOU think the Feds ought to throw at Illinois to push the compliance rate up to 93%?

For more information, visit www.buckleupillinois.org/



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