INDIANAPOLIS — You might have noticed more police officers on the roads across the state lately. That's because the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign is underway.
That means law enforcement is searching for people not wearing their seat belts.
A grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety administration pays law enforcement overtime over the 3-week period to solely focus on passengers not wearing their seat belts. We rode along with Indiana State Police as they pulled several people over for their own safety.
It didn't take long for Senior Trooper Nick Klinghammer to stop someone for not wearing their seat belt.
"The passenger admitted that she was not wearing her seat belt, and her explanation was that she was getting ready to put it on her, but she just has a bad habit of not wearing it," Klinghammer said.
We actually stopped not one, not two, but three people in about an hour on Indy's east side.
"The reason you got stopped," Klinghammer told a driver, "the seat belt right here. You're not wearing it. You've got to have that seat belt buckled in."
Kinghammer said it's about safety and complying with the law.
"We are here to enforce that," he said.
It's not just for drivers, but their passengers, too. If the passenger is an adult, they'll be cited, but if they're a child, the driver will have to pay. The ticket costs $25.
Klinghammer said an injury from a fender-bender could be prevented if a person wore a seat belt.
During last year's "Click It or Ticket" campaign, officers throughout 230 Indiana police agencies working nearly 29,000 hours of overtime to crack down on people not wearing their seat belts. They wrote 32,000 citations and warnings.
"Most times you're involved in a crash, it's within 5-to-10 miles of your house, so hopefully we prevented somethign here. If you don't click it, you'll get a ticket."
The campaign runs through Sunday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said more than 10,000 people who died in car crashes in 2017 were not wearing a seat belt.