Law enforcement officials from Grand Valley State University, Ottawa and Kent counties gathered on the Lubbers Stadium football field to help kick off the Click It or Ticket campaign. The seat belt enforcement campaign, sponsored by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, begins May 19 and runs through June 1.
The Michigan OHSP chose Lubbers Stadium as one of its kickoff sites because the theme of this year’s campaign is “Avoid a Penalty” and features a referee throwing penalty flags at unbuckled and improperly belted drivers.
Michigan’s 2013 seat belt use rate was 93 percent, down from a record high of 97.9 percent in 2009.
Grand Valley Police Chief Renee Freeman said the campaign is about saving lives. Buckling up can reduce the risk of serious injury or death by 45 percent. Last year, 15 people died in traffic-related deaths in Michigan over the Memorial Day holiday; two people who died were not wearing a seat belt.