Eugene, OR ― On January 13, Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jim Geiger was recognized by ODOT for outstanding work done through its Safety Belt Overtime Enforcement Program.
Geiger received the award for making a substantial impact on increasing Josephine County’s seatbelt use rate.
Prior to the 2010 ODOT “Click It or Ticket” campaign, 94% of Josephine County drivers were buckling up, 3% fewer than the state average. After the month-long campaign, which included advertising and increased seatbelt enforcement, Josephine County surpassed the average with an impressive 98% use rate according to ODOT observation surveys.
Josephine County was also recognized for its high volume of safety belt enforcement contacts, which totaled 113 for the year and either resulted in warnings or citations.
The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety also participates in the Safety Belt Overtime Enforcement Program and was undoubtedly a contributor to the great increase in usage that was experienced by Josephine County in 2010.
Safety Belt Program Manager Carla Levinski says that such substantial use rate increases over a one-year period are extremely rare. She attributes the increase to the ODOT grant and to traffic deputies like Geiger who utilized the overtime grant hours to make a positive difference.