Seat Belt Checks for Hispanics Denounced

Law enforcement officers taking part in a nationwide campaign to get drivers to wear their seat belts are setting up checkpoints aimed at Hispanics and handing out tickets — a tactic the ACLU says smacks of racial profiling.

Federal officials defend the checkpoints, saying Hispanics are less likely to buckle up because wearing seat belts is often not the law or custom in their countries of origin. “Click It or Ticket” campaigns aimed at the general population began nationwide last week and run through Sunday. A separate program grants money for seat belt campaigns in Hispanic neighborhoods. Both are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Officials say the programs are educational, though drivers can be ticketed during stops. Full Story

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