The Jasper Police Department released the results of their latest Operation Belt Up enforcement campaign.
The department joined dozens of law enforcement agencies across the state for Operation Belt Up, which ran from October to early November. For three weeks, officers worked overtime to reduce injuries and fatalities related to seat belt use.
During the enforcement campaign, the Jasper Police Department worked 31 hours of overtime traffic enforcement. During this period, JPD made 70 traffic stops, issued 21 written warnings, issued 68 traffic citations, including 48 Seat Belt Citations, and made one criminal arrest for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
The high-visibility patrols were funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
Seat belts can reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash by 50 percent, yet more people are choosing not to wear one in the state and nationwide.
So far this year, of the total number of vehicle occupants killed in crashes, more than 40 percent were unbuckled.
Moreover, seat belt use in Indiana declined for the first time in five years from 94.9 percent before the pandemic to 92.9 percent.
Operation Belt Up was activated to address this issue and encourage the remaining 7 percent to buckle up.
In Indiana, drivers and passengers can be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt. Drivers can also be cited for each unbuckled passenger under the age of 16. Additionally, children under eight must be properly restrained in a federally approved child or booster seat.