Area police departments plan to step up enforcement of seat belt laws as part of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign.
The nationwide campaign continues through May 31.
“We plan to be more vigilant,” said Mark Hummer, Lake Township Police Chief.
A banner urging motorists to buckle up will also be displayed outside the township administration building at the corner of Cummings Road and State Route 795.
Chief Hummer said drivers face a $63 fine for first time offenses while front seat passengers could be fined $52.
Nationwide, seat belt use last year ranged from 64 percent in New Hampshire to almost 98 percent in Hawaii, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Usage in Ohio has been gradually trending up since 2001, when the compliance rate was just under 67 percent.
Last year, the rate was just under 82 percent, which was less than one percent lower than in 2006.
According to the NHTSA, despite a decade of gains in daytime seat belt use, nighttime use continues to be much lower, particularly among young drivers.
The administration estimates 68 percent of those killed in accidents at night weren’t wearing their belts. During the day, 57 percent of those killed weren’t wearing seat belts.
Click It or Ticket is the cornerstone of the NHTSA’s public awareness programs for promoting the use of seat belts.
The primary audience continues to be men ages 18 to 34, which research shows are less likely to wear seat belts, according to the NHTSA.