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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Seat Belt Use Is on the Rise in Greenwich

Sonja Bartlett, a mom shopping on Greenwich Avenue on Wednesday, said she remembers watching videos of horrible car crashes in driver’s education classes in high school. The drivers were never wearing seat belts. “Those images have always stayed with me,” she said. “I always wear my seat belt, and make sure my kids do, too.”

Monday kicked off the national seat belt enforcement campaign, “ Click it or Ticket ,” which runs through June 5. Greenwich police were already beginning to issue tickets.

“I’ve only seen two fatal accidents where a seatbelt was being worn,” said Roger Drenth, a traffic technician and accident reconstructionist for the Greenwich Police Department. “It saves lives, keeps a person from being ejected out of the car, impacting the windshield in the facial area, and keeps kids from flying from the backseat to the front seat, and protects your chest from hitting the steering wheel.”

Eighteen officers from the Greenwich, Stamford and State Police departments were camped out on Route 1 on the Greenwich-Stamford border for three hours Monday morning for the kickoff of "Click it or Ticket." Greenwich police issued 41 tickets, Stamford police issued 21 tickets and state police issued 24 tickets for drivers not wearing seat belts. Tickets were also issued for infractions such as operating without a license, having an unregistered vehicle and having no front plate. No criminal activity was reported.

Compared with past kickoff efforts, fewer tickets were issued, Drenth said. “We were at one point commenting on how slow it was, which is good. It means people are starting to comply more,” said Drenth. “I think the word is getting out, and I think people are being more conscious about wearing seat belts.”

When seat belts are worn, drivers stay in control of the vehicle, helping to keep minor accidents from turning into major ones, said Lt. Kraig Gray, spokesman for the Greenwich Police Department.

“Driving is dangerous as it is. A lot of things out of your control, but the seat belt keeps you in control,” said Bartlett “I think the cell phone rule is ridiculous, but the seat belt rule is good.”

Are you diligent about wearing your seat belt and making sure riders in your car are also complying? Comment below.

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