Click-It Or Ticket Comeback; Michigan Already Knows

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Buckling up wasn't always second nature for Mia Galdes, but a tip from a friend changed that.

"My friend worked in the emergency room and said so many of the accidents could have been prevented by seatbelts, so I really took it to heart."

Now the Stockbridge mother is among the 94 percent of Michigan residents who consistently wear their seatbelts,, putting Michigan second in the nation for seatbelt compliance.

Nevertheless the statewide-- and nationwide-- "Click-It or Ticket" campaign is back. Ingham County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Steve Sopocy explains why.

"There are still people who don't wear their seatbelts," he says. "Until we have 100 percent of people wearing them, these are very necessary."

But not everyone agrees with the campaign.

"There are better things [the police] could be doing with their time," says Holt resident Doug Williams.

But the room for improvement is undeniable. Nationwide 31,000 people die in car accidents each year, and more than half aren't wearing seatbelts.

"It's catastrophic," Sopocy says.

Starting Monday, more than 500 law enforcement agencies in Michigan will be patroling the streets, looking for people who aren't wearing their seatbelts. It may seem pesky, but on a brighter note, it could help Michigan drivers get a break on their car insurance.

"A number of car insurance companies give drivers breaks if they've never gotten a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt," Sopocy says.

But for Mia Galdes, the best break, she says, is being alive.

"Twenty years ago, I was in an accident. And that was when wearing seatbelts wasn't a law. If I hadn't been wearing my seatbelt, I would have gone through the windshield."

A lesson police want to share in their seatbelt campaign.


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