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Deputies ramp up ‘Click It or Ticket’ efforts

Saturday will be the final day that sheriff deputies will work overtime looking for seat belt use violations.

Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said the county received $1,000 boost in funds for deputies to work extended hours. The program is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration annual two-week initiative “Click It or Ticket.”

The money was distributed through a grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, who gave $67,695 to the Southeast Alabama Regional Highway Safety Office, which serves Barbour, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties.

Harden said deputies started last weekend looking for motorists without seatbelts, as well as belts being worn improperly.

“They might have them clicked, but the shoulder strap is tucked behind them,” Harden said.

Harden said seatbelts are there for a reason and should always be used.

“Seatbelts save lives,” Harden said.

According to studies by the NHTSA, proper seat belt use saves around 15,000 lives per year. The age group consisting of 16-24 year-olds has the lowest rate of belt use.

After Saturday night, deputies will still be on the lookout for improper seat belt use, but they will resume normal patrol hours.