The KWPD is buckling down on seat belts. They’ve kicked off the annual statewide Click it or Ticket campaign, a two-week long zero-tolerance program aimed at reminding drivers seatbelts save lives. Aiding this effort is the roll-out of a new automated ticketing system that makes the whole process faster and safer for officers.
“This new grant-funded system not only provides all the information an officer needs with a simple swipe of a driver’s license, it speaks to the officers,” says Chief Donie Lee. “That translates into officer safety and efficiency.”
The new system also means a more standard appearance of tickets. Officers swipe a driver’s license, and their touch-screen computers show everything they need to know about that driver. At the same time, the system’s “virtual partner” uses a human voice to relay the information. If a ticket is written, all of the information is filled out by the computer, making the hand-written ticket part of the past. And the whole process, which is tied into state databases, takes just seconds.
Through the Memorial Day weekend, Key West Police Officers will be joining law enforcement throughout Florida conducting round-the-clock sweeps for motorists who fail to wear safety belts. Last year Florida passed a primary safety belt law that allows officers to pull over motorists that don’t buckle up. From May 24 through June 6, law enforcement will fan out across Florida in a life-saving effort to do just that.
Seat belts save lives. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, five lives were lost in Monroe County during 2008 because they were not buckled up. Statewide, 991 people were killed that year for lack of wearing a safety belt.
It’s especially important to be sure our children are learning the importance of seat belts. In 2008, 73 percent of young adults aged 21 to 24 killed in Florida traffic crashes were not buckled up. That’s the highest percentage of any age group.
Many of the patrol officers on the road during the Click it or Ticket campaign will be using their new automated systems to efficiently issue tickets to motorists who do not buckle up, or who do not make sure their passengers are safely belted in.
In the attached photo, Officer Kevin O’Connell issues a ticket using the new, state-of-the-art ticketing system recently installed in his patrol car.