Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III and Chief of Detectives John J. Kuczynski are announcing that law enforcement officers in Hunterdon County will be cracking down on unbuckled motorists and passengers as part of the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign. The campaign begins May 18th and runs through May 31st. The annual initiative includes high visibility law enforcement seat belt checkpoints and saturation patrols, as well as local and national publicity designed to ensure that drivers and passengers recognize the life-saving value of seat belts. According to Prosecutor Kearns, “Using a seat belt is the simplest way for people to protect themselves when traveling in a vehicle. Relying on airbags is not enough to prevent serious injury or death in a violent crash. Making sure child safety seats are properly installed is also imperative for the safety of the children riding in them. Our staff conducts bi-weekly child safety seat installations at the county complex on Route 12. Call the office at 908-788-1129 for details.” In 2012, seat belts saved an estimated 12,000 lives nationwide. The front seat belt usage rate in New Jersey currently stands at 87.59%. Gary Poedubicky, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety noted that the goal for this year’s campaign is to increase the statewide rate to 90%. “To meet our goal, we must rededicate our enforcement and public outreach efforts that educate all motor vehicle occupants about the importance of buckling up, every ride,” he said. Chief Sebastian Donaruma of the Hunterdon County Chiefs of Police Association added that this year’s campaign will also focus on rear seat passengers and nighttime enforcement. During evening hours, seat belt usage is traditionally lower and the percentage of unbelted fatalities is higher. During the 2014 “Click it or Ticket” campaign, 374 police agencies participated in the two-week initiative. As a result of the effort, law enforcement officers issued 26,635 seat belt citations, 4,363 speeding summonses, and made 944 DWI arrests.