Monmouth County Sheriff’s Officers are cracking down on unbuckled motorists and their passengers as part of the nationwide “Click it or Ticket” campaign. The seat belt enforcement program provided through a grant by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety kicked offon Monday, May 21st and runs through Sunday, June 3rd. In Monmouth County, 13 law enforcement agencies will be participating. “I’m proud that the sheriff’s office has been selected once again to participate in such an important program,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “The main focus of these patrols, which are being conducted in the Asbury Park Area, is to stop and issue summonses to motorists and front and rear passengers, who are not complying with the state’s seat belt laws.”

The seat belt enforcement will take place during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which is one of the busiest times on the roads. According to Gary Poedubicky, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, in 2011,the front seat belt usage rate rose to 94.51 percent. He added that the campaign will focus on rear seat passengers as well. Despite laws requiring adult back seat passengers to buckle up, back seat belt use stands at only 35 percent.

During the Click it or Ticket program in 2011, sheriff’s officers issued 135 summonses for seat belt violations, 4 for suspended licenses, 2 for reckless driving and 23 additional summonses for other moving and non-moving violations.

As a result of those motor vehicle stops, sheriff’s officersalso apprehended 2 fugitives. “The success of our participation in the Click It or Ticket Mobilization in 2011,and our invitation to again participate in the 2012 initiative, illustrates our agency-wide commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all Monmouth County residents,” said Sheriff Golden.