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On Monday, May 19, police in Tigard and Tualatin began a safety enforcement blitz in conjunction with the annual “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

The two-week-long blitz is focusing on proper seat belt use, use of booster seats, texting while driving, speed enforcement and minors riding in pickup beds.

Tigard Police will be focusing on enforcement at various times and days throughout the blitz, the department said in a statement.

In Tigard, motorists have demonstrated nearly 97 percent compliance regarding passenger vehicle safety belt usage for front-seated occupants, Tigard Police said. The national average is about 80 percent.

"While these figures are encouraging, it should also be noted that the lack of safety belt use was a major factor in half of all motor vehicle fatalities in Oregon during recent years," said Tigard Police spokesman Jim Wolf.

About 31 percent of fatalities in 2012 occurred when vehicle occupants were unrestrained, according to Tualatin Police. The Oregon Department of Transportation estimates that half of these deaths could have been avoided with proper belt use.

The campaign is federally funded and administered by ODOT through the Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police and Oregon State Police Patrol Services. The last blitz was conducted in February, and the next is slated for September.

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