EAST PROVIDENCE — As part of the “Click-it or Ticket” national seat belt program, the East Providence Police Department continued its week-long observation of area drivers, including time spent at the intersection of Warren Avenue and Interstate-195 off-ramp.
Sergeant John Andrews and Officer Dennis Medeiros were stationed at the heavily-trafficked spot around rush hour Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 25, where they pulled over at least a dozen violators for not wearing their seat belts.
Sergeant Andrews said drivers not wearing the protective devices would receive an $85 fine. However, because it is not deemed a moving violation, the incidents do not appear on a driver’s record nor are they forwarded to insurance companies.
One of the vehicles pulled over by Sergeant Andrews and Officer Medeiros had three adult men riding the rather small cab of an older pick-up truck. The men were on their way back home to East Providence after spending their day working construction in Walpole, Mass.
“I know about the law,” said the driver of the truck, who claimed to have been stopped previously by Sergeant Andrews for a different infraction. “I always put on my seat belt. It’s just with the three of us in the car I forgot this time.”
When told they were unfortunately in the proverbial “wrong place at the wrong time,” one of the passengers in the truck said, “Yeah, and the city need the money, too.”
While clearly seeing the men in the truck weren’t wearing their seat belts, Sergeant Andrews and Officer Medeiros noted the difficulty in figuring out if some drivers are wearing their restraints. And it’s even more difficult, they added, when sitting in their police cruisers.
Adding the difficulty, the officers continued, are when the color of the seat belt fabric closely matches that of clothing worn by people in cars. Also, female drivers often tell police they don’t wear the cross section of seats belts from the shoulder to the waist because it can uncomfortable across their chests.
The current “Click-it or Ticket-it” program runs throughout the city the remainder of the week.