The annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign kicked off in Youngstown on Wednesday.
The event, sponsored by Mahoning County Safe Communities, helps to educate local law enforcement about the program and encourage safe behavior by motorists.
The event was held at Charlie Staples Bar-B-Que, 372 W. Rayen Ave. The restaurant is participating in the initiative with a special incentive.
This year, a new component of the program called “Click It and Win” will award anyone pulled over wearing a seat belt a 15 percent off coupon for Charlie Staples Bar-B-Que.
“We thought what better way to kick off the summer season. Our theme is ‘Belts and Barbecue.’ We’re trying to have a positive message, a positive communication between law enforcement and the community,” said Mahoning County Safe Communities coordinator Susan Viars.
According to the Click or Ticket initiative data from 2010, of all passengers ejected from vehicles during a crash, 77 percent suffered fatal injuries and 62 percent of 18-34 year old passenger vehicle occupants killed in rural crashes were unbuckled.
“We find that in order to get people to buckle up and wear their seatbelt sometimes getting a seatbelt ticket is what motivates them,” said Viars. “What they’ll be doing for the next two weeks during the campaign, they will be looking for people who are not buckled up.”
The campaign starts Monday and runs through June 3.