PHOENIX - Highway patrol officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety are being asked to write 45 tickets to drivers who aren’t wearing their seatbelts over the next three months.
Officers are calling it the "2012 Seatbelt Challenge," and despite the concern from some drivers that it appears to be a quota, a spokesperson insists it is not, since officers don’t have to take part in it.
“It’s not mandatory,” said Bart Graves with DPS.
Officers may volunteer to join the program that runs August through October and if he or she meets the 45 ticket goal, they’ll receive a keychain.
During the same period last year, 40 percent of deaths on Arizona highways were the result of a driver or passenger not wearing a seatbelt, he said.
“We have a very high fatality rate,” Graves told ABC15. “We can’t sit back and do nothing."
The flyer being distributed among the officers states “the average number of restraint citations issued by an officer remains at 2.7 per officer, per month."
The challenge would ask the officer to write about three or four a week.
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