Local authorities kick off ‘Click It or Ticket,’ ‘100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T.’ campaigns

The heat is, as they say, on the street.

Local authorities gathered Monday at the Columbus Government Center to talk about the “100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T.” and the “Click It or Ticket” campaigns — traffic enforcement efforts that kicked off Monday.

The 100 Days of Summer Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic campaign focuses on dangerous drivers. Click It or Ticket raises seat belt awareness.

“We know that seat belts can save lives, especially at night,” said Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Blackwood said 69 percent of traffic fatalities after 9 p.m. involve someone without a seat belt. Reducing the number of fatal wrecks is what Columbus police strive for in the enforcement campaigns, Lt. Mark D. Starling said.

According to Starling, 21 people died in 2010 in Columbus wrecks. That number dropped to 13 last year.

“It’s all due to the selective traffic enforcement,” Starling said. “We will be out in force.”

Columbus drivers can expect checkpoints throughout the summer, starting this Friday. Starling said his department hasn’t yet decided on the first checkpoint’s location.