LANSING, Mich. (WWJ/AP) ” Law enforcement officials in 40 Michigan counties are stepping up enforcement of seat belt regulations.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says the annual “Click It or Ticket” safety belt enforcement zones and extra enforcement begin Monday. Officials last week kicked off the effort with an advertising campaign about enforcement plans.

Anne Readett of the Office of Highway Safety Planning says the goal isn’t to surprise people with tickets — it’s to make them buckle up, even before the program starts.

“It is a statewide effort that will be focused in more counties this year than last year,” Readett told WWJ’s Ron Dewey. “Last year we were in 26 counties with additional enforcement. This year it will be in 40 counties. The idea is making sure people are aware of the enforcement, they get lots of advance notice — and they buckle up.”

Not buckling up means paying a $65 dollar ticket.

The effort through the Memorial Day travel weekend effort involves local police, sheriff’s offices and state police. Federal traffic safety funds support the campaign.

The goal is to increase seat belt use to reduce traffic deaths and injuries. Last year, the state’s seat belt use rate was 93 percent, down from a high of 97.9 percent in 2009. Officials say that they want to help get seat belt use up to the 98 percent level.

*Copyright, 2014 Associated Press.


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