MADISON

Cops will be out in greater-than-usual numbers over the next two weeks in an effort to get people to buckle up.

The annual Click it or Ticket effort starts Monday, according to a state Department of Transportation news release.

Local police agencies that have greater problems getting people to buckle up get federal dollars for the extra patrols through the state program. Other agencies participate without the grant money, according to Randy Romanski of the Bureau of Transportation Safety.

The effort by some 200 police agencies comes as the summer travel season begins.

“As always, this is not about stopping or citing motorists. This is about public safety and getting all motorists to voluntarily comply with traffic laws,” said DOT Secretary Dave Ross, who is quoted in the press release.

The release goes on to say that state law allows police to stop and cite motorists for failing to wear a safety belt and that drivers can be cited for every unbuckled passenger in their vehicle. Penalties are higher for transporting unrestrained children.

About 90 percent of Wisconsin motorists wear safety belts, according to the release. Those who don’t buckle up account for nearly half of all the drivers and passengers killed in Wisconsin traffic crashes each year.

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