standing Stonington Police Department

STONINGTON — A two-week enforcement campaign aimed at targeting those who don't buckle up led officers to issue 9 citations, but Stonington police said the program also showed a higher rate of compliance in 2019 when compared to previous years.

Stonington police, in partnership with the Westerly Police Department and both Rhode Island and Connecticut state police, took part in the annual "Border to Border" joint operation from May 20 through June 2. During that time, Sgt. Keith Beebe said in a press release that the department issued nine citations to motorists not wearing their seatbelts.

"Motorists are commended for safety seatbelt compliance, with surveys by police resulting in over 90% of motorists being observed wearing their seatbelts," Beebe said.

The effort is part of the annual Click It or Ticket seatbelt enforcement campaign hosted through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in partnership with law enforcement throughout the U.S.

For police, the number of citations issued represents a considerable reduction in the number violations over the same period in recent years. Just two years ago, a similar enforcement led to officers to issue more than 30 tickets, while the Stonington Police Department reported that 75 tickets were given during a two-week enforcement around Memorial Day in 2015.

Beebe said in a press release that the agency will continue to encourage safe travel behaviors as the summer season really picks up in the coming weeks.

"Seatbelts save lives," Beebe said. "The police are asking that citizens continue to wear their safety belts and drive safely at all times."

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com

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