Rain delays police effort to pay drivers for seat belt use -- Gazette.Net



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This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. May 14.

The Prince George’s County police department has postponed an educational seatbelt safety campaign set for today in Largo, after rain was forecasted in the area.

The program, which brings together police officers, the Maryland State Highway Administration and the Prince George’s Community Federal Credit Union to distribute $1 bills to drivers following seatbelt laws, was rescheduled for May 31 at the Boulevard at the Capital Centre at 900 Capital Center Blvd.

Officers will hand out the bills to drivers who have all occupants buckled up inside their vehicles as they come to the shopping center between noon to 3 p.m.

Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a county police spokesman, said officers will not be pulling drivers over as they would in a typical traffic stop, but will be walking up to passing vehicles to ask drivers if they are wearing seatbelts.

“Officers will say things like, ‘Hey, are you interested in earning a dollar?’ and then will see if they are wearing seatbelts. It’s more of a light-hearted approach to get people to realize seatbelt safety,” Copeland said.

Those not wearing safety belts will be given educational material about the importance of seat belts and their ability to save lives and reduce injury.

The program is in connection to the Click It or Ticket seat belt safety campaign, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Maryland State Highway Administration’s Safety Office that aims to increase seat belt use. Maryland law requires drivers and front seat passengers to wear seat belts, regardless of age, and everyone younger than 16 must wear a seat belt, regardless of where they are seated in the vehicle.

djgross@gazette.net