Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake police departments are participating in the annual Click It or Ticket campaign through June 4.
According to Capt. Steve Guldeman, Falls Police will have additional officers out during this time to enforce traffic laws and issue citations for seat belt violations. This will be funded through a 2017 Ohio Traffic Safety Grant, he said.
"Statistically, within the State of Ohio during 2016 only 43.3 percent of persons killed in fatal crashes were wearing a seat belt," Guldeman said. "The use among persons injured in traffic crashes was reported as being 88 percent."
Guldeman, who is the operations commander for Falls Police, said the current seat belt usage rate for Summit County is 78.1 percent.
Silver Lake Police Lt. Steve Justice said the department is participating in the effort.
"The main focus will be bringing awareness to the importance of seat belt use," added Lt. Justice. "In 2016, Ohio saw 431 traffic fatalities where occupants weren't wearing seatbelts. That's down almost 9 percent from 473 in 2015, and we aim to lower that number by even more in 2017."
The Click It or Ticket campaign has led to an increase in the use of seat belts, said Silver Lake Police Lt. Jamie Norris. "We know seat belts saves lives," Norris said. "Everybody gets in a hurry sometimes; they jump in the car and take off." He said all it takes is "a simple reach over the shoulder and click it."
"Wearing a seat belt might keep you here a little bit longer," Norris said.