For two weeks, starting Monday and ending June 4, law enforcement agencies across New Jersey will be out and about pulling over drivers who aren't wearing seat belts.

Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety, says 375 police agencies, including the State Police, are expected to take part in the campaign. In May 2016, 387 agencies participated.

"We're trying to encourage motorists and passengers to buckle up," he said. "Seat belts save thousands of lives every year but far too many motorists are still not buckling up. In our opinion, buckling is not an option. It's a difference between life and death in a crash."

Click It or Ticket is a highly publicized law enforcement effort that gives people a reason to buckle up. While most do it for safety reasons, for others, it's the threat of a ticket that makes them put on a seat belt.

In fact, in 2016, Poedubicky says 26,000 seat belt citations were issued during the two-week Click It or Ticket campaign.

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Poedubicky says the campaign is very powerful because it's a national campaign that's been implemented for several years. The whole purpose is to increase awareness and also increase enforcement. He says it encouraged motorists to buckle up.

He also reminds us that there is a seat belt law in New Jersey for both front-seat and back-seat passengers. The fine for not wearing a seat belt is $46. Poedubicky says there are no points on your license but you will have to pay up.

The Click It Or Ticket campaign seems to be making an impact, he adds.

"Seat belt usage rate has increased in New Jersey to 93.35 percent in 2016."

That's up from 91.36 percent in 2015 and the highest usage rate since the 94.51 percent that was recorded in 2011.

Jen Ursillo is the midday news anchor on New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at Jen.Ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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