Press Release

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office and Columbus Police Department will be conducting overtime patrols during the holidays, thanks to a $20,500 traffic safety improvement grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The funds, distributed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, are part of the state’s “Click It to Live It” program, which works to promote seat belt usage and reduce impaired driving – in an effort to prevent traffic injuries and fatal crashes in Indiana.

According to the most recent data available, 53% of passengers killed in fatal crashes were not wearing seatbelts and 63.5% of speeding related fatalities were unrestrained. To combat this and save lives, Indiana police agencies will continue to enforce seat belt, speeding and other traffic laws, especially during the holiday season.

Indiana has a primary seat belt law, meaning that police officers may ticket unrestrained drivers or passengers, even if no other traffic violation has taken place.

ICJI and the Purdue University Center for Road Safety estimate that in 2019 about 95 percent of Hoosiers buckle up. But the small amount of drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts made up more than half of Indiana’s fatal crashes.

Parents and caregivers who don’t buckle up are more likely to have unbuckled kids as adults set the example. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading and increasing cause of death for children age 14 and younger. In Indiana, all passengers under age 8 must be in an approved car seat or booster seat, and unrestrained children under 16 are the driver’s responsibility.

For more information about seat belts visit http://on.IN.gov/buckleup.