BRISTOL - With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Bristol police will join the Click It or Ticket campaign to encourage driver safety.
Local police will use roving patrols between Nov. 26 and Dec. 3 in the first of two waves that targets motorists who don’t wear a seatbelt. The second wave is expected to be carried out between May and June.
Lt. Michael Duval, the head of the Bristol Police Department Traffic Division, said the campaign will consist of two officers at a time in four-hour blocks primarily on busier roads, like Routes 72, 69, 6 and 229.
“We haven’t done it in a few years,” Duval said. “We’re going to give it a shot this year.”
Click It or Ticket, which consists of numerous law enforcement agencies, is possible through grant money and a partnership with the state Department of Transportation.
“It’s a big campaign,” Duval said. “It’s not just Bristol.”
The goal of the campaign, the lieutenant said, is simple: to get more safety belt compliance.
According to the DOT, seatbelt use was at about 93.6% in Connecticut in 2019, which is above the national average.
“There’s still not 100% compliance,” Duval said, adding that numerous studies have shown that motor vehicle accidents are both less severe and deadly when motorists use safety belts.
One of the benefits of participating in a campaign like Click It or Ticket is that police get to see what kind of an impact it has at the local level.
“We do collect data before and after,” Duval said.
The data that gets collected is done through an officer observing traffic, keeping track of how many motorists use a seatbelt, in a specific location, time of day and day of the week. This is done before the campaign and again afterward, using all the same variables as before.
Although it’s not quite a perfect scientific model, Duval said, it still gives police an idea of the impact the campaign had on driver habits.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org