Champaign Police Department to participate in Click It or Ticket campaign

Starting May 9, the Champaign Police Department will be participating in a Click It or Ticket campaign.

The department will be working alongside the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and hundreds of other law enforcement agencies across Illinois.

“It’s a campaign where officers are put out on patrol areas to make sure that people are wearing their seat belts and to make sure everyone is driving sober as well,” Champaign Police Sgt. Joe Ketchem.

The Champaign Police Department will be patrolling the city streets to enforce seat belt laws. If the driver or passenger is not complying, the offender is subject to a ticket with a fine.

This campaign comes after the department received a highway grant to run the program to May 26.

Officers will be looking for seat belt violations along with keeping an eye out for intoxicated drivers and children who are improperly restrained.

While officers are always looking out for these things, they can not always make stops for seat belt violations because of their workload, Ketchem said.

“With this grant money [it] allows officers to be specifically looking for seat belts and DUI and things like that,” Ketchem said.

The time period set in the grant covers Memorial Day weekend, a time of heavy traffic and more intoxicated drivers.

“Memorial Day is a warm holiday in the summer and we tend to have more accidents than the regular weekends and we tend to have a lot more intoxication problems,” Ketchem said.

Provisional numbers show that during Memorial Day weekend in 2013 there were three deaths and almost 600 injuries on Illinois Roadways. Two of those deaths were alcohol-related.

“People need to realize that wearing your seat belt and not driving intoxicated is the best thing to do,” Ketchem said.