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Police cite 840 for seatbelt violations in three-county crackdown

Law enforcement agencies in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties issued 840 seatbelt violations during the 10th annual Click It or Ticket campaign.

Thirty-one law enforcement agencies from King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties participated in the crackdown, including Kent, Tukwila and Auburn police.

The fine for driving without a seatbelt is $124.

While seatbelt violations were the main focus, officers came across drivers engaging in other dangerous behaviors.

During the regional patrols from May 21 to June 3, 172 police officers and sheriff’s deputies stopped more than 2,100 motorists in the three counties. Approximately 1,680 citations were written, including 840 seatbelt violations, 358 cell phone and texting violations and 143 speeding infractions. Nineteen misdemeanor warrant arrests and six felony warrant arrests were made in addition to nine DUI arrests. Seventy-two drivers were found with suspended or revoked license violations.

“Wearing a seatbelt is the easiest and most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in the car,” Kent Police Sgt. Robert Constant said in a media release. “We can also prevent needless crashes by putting down cell phones when behind the wheel.”

Washington State is a leader in the nation for seatbelt use yet 40 percent of people who died in car crashes in Washington in the last five years were not wearing seatbelts. While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization ended June 3, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seatbelt laws year-round, day and night.

Statewide, law enforcement from local police and sheriff agencies and the Washington State Patrol worked the extra patrols with funding from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Participating law enforcement agencies in King County included:

Auburn, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Burien, Covington, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Pacific, Redmond, Renton, SeaTac, Seattle, Snoqualmie and Tukwila Police Departments.

Note: The Washington State Patrol participated in the seatbelt crackdown in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties but WSP statistics are not included in this release.

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