Tampa police kick off seat belt enforcement campaign

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s a sobering statistic. Tampa has one of the highest number of traffic deaths in the state related to something preventable, wearing your seat belt.

In 2019, the Tampa Police Department investigated eight fatal crashes where the failure to use a seat belt likely contributed to their death.

That statistic puts Tampa fourth in the state of Florida.

“Believe it or not there’s still many, probably way too many people who still don’t wear their seat belts, or just feel like, oh I’m just going up the street, or I’m just running to the store I don’t need my seat belt but you just never know,” said Tampa Police Officer Sarah Michelson.

Starting Thursday, Tampa police will kick off a campaign to make sure people are buckling up. They will also make sure children are in proper safety seats.

If caught for a seat belt violation, you could get a fine of $113, and $163 for not having a child properly restrained in a child safety seat.

“Our hope is we don’t have to issue any citations. We’re hoping everyone just buckles up, makes sure their kids are in child safety seats,” said Officer Michelson.

Studies show that wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of death by 45 percent.

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