TRENTON — Before you head off to work or school, be sure to buckle up as the National 'Click It or Ticket' campaign kicks off this week in towns across the state.

173 departments around New Jersey, including agencies at the local and county levels, will receive grants totaling $805,000 to participate in the zero tolerance program starting Monday and running through June 3..

Last year, with 350 agencies participating, there were 17,792 violations handed out. There were also 823 tickets given for DWI involving alcohol, and 153 for drugs, 498 child restraint violations, 6,363 for speeding  and 2,594 for cell phone use.

Seaside Heights Police Chief Tom Boyd said wearing a seat belt is a must in order to prevent tragedies on the roads.

"The Ticket or Click It Campaign is going to save a lot of lives, they have been saving lives" Boyd said. "I think it's a great program. If you get into an accident it could stop you from getting your head hit in the windshield or snapping your neck."

Not buckling up has proven fatal in some accidents, and it's something Boyd says his officers have seen way too often.

"We've been to way too many accidents where we've seen so many people get hurt or thrown from the vehicle," Boyd said. "If they would have had their seatbelt on, they would have stayed inside the vehicle and they would have survived."

On the bright side, Boyd feels more and more people are getting the message, but it still needs to be enforced.

"I think, believe it or not, that people are now picking up on wearing seatbelts a lot more," Boyd said. "With the Click It or Ticket Campaign, we get federal money (grants) to put officers out there to write tickets."

As we head into Memorial Day weekend in the middle of this campaign, Boyd says you can expect to see a few extra eyes on drivers.

"We have a very large influx of police officers who came in that just graduated the academy and we're bringing a lot of guys who are back from last year," Boyd said. "We have probably a total of 50 that stay year round."


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