Now through September the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing seat belt laws as part of a statewide campaign. The state provides grant money to the sheriff’s department that essentially allows deputies to be paid overtime to work on their time off with the focus of pulling over anyone that’s not wearing a seat belt.
“I think a lot of people know the importance of wearing a seat belt, but in this area we still have quite a few violations of people not wearing their seat belt and it’s very important that people do” says Shawano County Sheriff Adam Bieber. “It is the law and I know a lot of people don’t agree with it.”
Bieber says a lot of people will try to make the comparison of seat belt laws to that of wearing a helmet on a motorcycle, but they are not the same according to Bieber.
“If you’re involved in a crash on a motorcycle at high rates of speed, you’re going to likely die with or without a helmet and that is not true with a seat belt” he said. “A seat belt will typically save your life at high speeds or at any speed.”
The law applies to improper use of seat belts as well, such as placing the lap bar behind you.
“It’s still a violation of law. That officer may or may not write you a citation, but if you’re not wearing that seat belt properly that officer can still write you a citation” Bieber added. “Obviously, they can still pull you over if it’s not seat belted properly.”
Sheriff Bieber says there have been instances where people not buckled in have killed others in their vehicle just from their body being thrown around in a crash.