The 2020 May/June “Click It or Ticket” Mobilization was anything but typical. This year COVID-19 restrictions and civil protests, not the weather, created unique challenges to the High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) operations across the Commonwealth. This is certainly not how we pictured the last full mobilization, funded by Buckle Up PA (BUPA), would end.
The mobilization was scheduled to begin with Pennsylvania joining other states in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Border to Border Seat Belt Enforcement Operation. NHTSA later cancelled all Border to Border activities, including media events, because of COVID-19 concerns and postponed the “Click It or Ticket” (CIOT) campaign. Pennsylvania elected to continue with paid media and statewide CIOT enforcement funding.
The mobilization initially had 348 departments scheduled to participate. As COVID-19 cases increased in Pennsylvania, the number of participating departments decreased significantly. PennDOT granted our request to extend the mobilization one additional week which allowed Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to participate as counties began to transition to the Green Phase. This extension increased the number of participating departments to 237.
We are grateful to all partners who worked with us to modify activities so that we could maximize resources to achieve that common goal, to save lives. This year, BUPA LEAs had 19,268 contacts resulting in 14,685 citations being issued. Over 1,000 of those citations were directly related to Occupant Protection violations. It is the continued “Zero Tolerance” practice that lends credibility to the mobilization and earned media campaigns.
We believe that a strong enforcement initiative is essential to promoting a successful seat belt campaign. Each contact creates an opportunity to change someone’s behavior or mindset and, quite possibly, their own life.
The Buckle Up PA staff would like to extend our sincere appreciation to everyone that supported or participated in our Occupant Protection mobilizations over the years. No doubt, your participation helped save lives.