The National 2013 'Click-it-or-Ticket' program that began on May 20, will continue with extra patrols on Western Montana's roads and highways through June 2.

Sergeant Greg Amundsen of the Missoula Police Department said on Tuesday, that the program has been extended because of the importance of wearing seat belts.

"Just below 80% of the fatal crashes in Montana happen to those who were not wearing a seat belt," Amundsen said. "If we can get that number down, certainly a lot of lives will be saved in Montana."

Amundsen acknowledged that not wearing a seat belt is not a primary traffic offense, meaning a driver cannot be pulled over for simply not wearing a seat belt.

"When we go out and work traffic, we look for all offenses, such as speeding, red light, and particularly in Missoula, we can look for people talking on their cellphones," Amundsen said. "When we do make a traffic stop for any of those offenses, we then check to make sure they are wearing their seat belt, and if they're not, they get a ticket."

Amundsen said there is one primary seat belt offense that will result in an immediate ticket.

"There is a separate statute in the state of Montana in that any child under age six or under 60 pounds must be in an approved safety seat," Amundsen said. "In the state of Montana, that is a primary offense. so, if you are driving around and we see a young child standing on a car seat we can pull you over, because that is a primary offense."

Sergeant Greg Amundsen