Verona squad car file

A City of Verona police department squad car blocks the road during a chimney fire incident in 2017.

Now through Sunday, July 5, Verona police are joining other law enforcement agencies statewide as part of an annual effort, funded by federal grants, to encourage motorists to buckle up.

According to a Verona Police Department news release, over the last decade, Wisconsin’s safety belt use rate has increased from about 74 percent in 2009 to nearly 90 percent today.

That increase is believed to be the result of a law passed June 2009 that allows for Wisconsin motorists to be stopped and ticketed for failing to wear a safety belt. Drivers can also be cited for every unbuckled passenger in their vehicle.

The release states that 44 percent of the car and light truck crash deaths in Wisconsin last year involved occupants not being buckled up.

“Despite advances in vehicle technologies, wearing a seat belt remains the most important and effective step motorists can take to prevent being injured or killed in a traffic crash,” the release states.

-Neal Patten can be contacted at neal.patten@wcinet.com.