‘You can’t unsee death’: Polk Co. Sheriff urges seat belt use during Click It or Ticket campaign

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – As Tampa Bay area law enforcement agencies begin Click It or Ticket campaigns, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said it’s not about writing citations but about saving lives. .

“You can’t see death from a car crash. It breaks my heart to see people die because they don’t wear seat belts. It was like, “Hey man, what are you thinking?” he said on a Tuesday same-day trip with News Channel 8.

His agency issued 348 seatbelt-related tickets in 2021.

“We could have stopped more than that, but we stopped them for the main fault of speeding and then warned them about not wearing seat belts,” the sheriff said. speak.

Records from the Clerk of Circuit Court & the Polk County Controller show that 4,918 seat belt violations were handled in 2019, a pre-pandemic time when more drivers were on the road. .

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people aged 0-54.

Drivers are taught from the first time they get behind the wheel to fasten their seat belts.

“Sometimes we’ll unbuckle their seat belts to see if they find out that their passengers aren’t wearing them before they leave,” said Cheryl Giles.

Giles is a co-owner of Lakeland Atlantic Driving School in Winter Haven.

She said if people didn’t fasten their seat belts at the start of their test, they would immediately fail.

“The first thing is they fasten their seat belts before they start the car,” says Giles.

Both Giles and Sheriff Judd shared stories of cases they have witnessed where a person could have survived a crash if they had worn their seat belt.

“Unfortunately, he was injected from inside the car, face down on the street, I know, he was dead when I got close to him,” Giles said.

“There were two people in the car, who were wearing seat belts, when the car ran over him, he was hit and bruised. The other person, not wearing a seat belt, is now dead,” said Sheriff Judd.

Click It Or Ticket will run through June 5.

Seat belt violation fines vary from county to county but cost as little as $100.

https://www.wfla.com/news/polk-county/you-cant-unsee-death-polk-co-sheriff-urges-seat-belt-use-during-click-it-or-ticket-campaign/ ‘You can’t unsee death’: Polk Co. Sheriff urges seat belt use during Click It or Ticket campaign

Alley Einstein

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