The Milford Police Department will be holding its annual seatbelt checkpoint between the hours of 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. May 31.
On that evening, officers will stop drivers heading northbound on Milford Parkway near Rivers Edge to check seatbelt use.
“The checkpoint will be a non-enforcement event, designed to promote public education,” said Chief of Police Mark Machan. “We are not going to issue tickets. We are going to give away little trinkets if they are using their seatbelts.”
The event is co-sponsored by the Ohio State Patrol and Clermont County Safe Communities Coalition and is part of the larger 'Click It Or Ticket' campaign to promote public education about seat belt safety.
In addition to this campaign, the Milford Police Department also takes part in an observational seat belt count for the Ohio Traffic Safety Office.
"A couple of times a year, we go out as a police department and get a count of people wearing seat belts. We send those numbers to Miami University who do usage data," Machan said.
Miami University's Applied Research Center issues a report from seatbelt data gathered from official counts throughout Ohio. This report is done on behalf of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the parent agency for the Ohio Traffic Safety Office.
"One of the interesting things we've looked at is the increase in seat belt use in Milford. Ours has steadily increased. We're at 89%," Machan said.
According to the latest published statistics from Miami, Milford is well ahead of the state in seat belt use. In 2009, it was estimated that 83.6% of Ohio drivers use seatbelts. In Southwest Ohio that number was 86%, up from 62% in 2000.
That increase is good news for the community located minutes from four of the most dangerous roads in Clermont County: State Route 28 at the intersection of State Route 132, US route 50, State Route 131 east of State Route 132 and Interstate 275.
The Clermont County Safe Communities Coalition reported that Clermont is among the counties with the highest number of traffic fatalities.
The Milford Police Chief believes that activities such as the yearly seat belt checkpoint can help.
"I think public education makes a difference," he said.