Click it or ticket: It#039;s your choice

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 26, 2004

If the thought of driving without a seat belt doesn’t jolt teen drivers, authorities this weekend plan to hit them where it really hurts: in their wallets.

Alabama's &uot;Click It or Ticket&uot; campaign is

in full force statewide this Memorial Day weekend, specifically targeting teens. About $10 million worth of ads

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paid for by the federal government

have been placed on the Internet, television and in other media to remind young drivers of the costly fines that can result from failing to buckle up.

Nationally, seat belt use among young drivers is lower than among older drivers. Although that conclusion relies on informal visual surveys at busy intersections, the hard facts are these: In 2000, 52 percent of teens killed in car accidents were not belted, compared with a 26 percent death rate among all drivers who drive unbuckled. That is certainly enough evidence to show and prove there is a need for a national push.

In case you’re fuzzy on the seat belt laws, here’s a primer: Alabama law requires all front seat passengers to wear seat belts. Children up to age 16, no matter where they’re seated, must wear seat belts. Children under four years old must be in certified safety seats. The penalty for seat belt or car seat violation is a fine of up to $25. Any safety seat or seat belt conviction involving a person under 16 years of age results in a fine of up to $100 and three points on the driver’s license record.

This weekend

and all year long

buckle up!