YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Starting Sunday, you better buckle up if you want to get on base. Officials in South Korea say a “Click-it or Ticket” campaign will be in effect from now until Jan. 3, following an Armywide trend in recent years of emphasizing safety during holiday periods.

And this time, officials are promising swift punishments for violations.

Anyone caught driving or riding without their seat belt in a military vehicle will be issued a ticket on the spot, officials said. Anyone driving or riding in a personally-owned vehicle without their seat belt will not be allowed to enter the base.

According to military law enforcement officials, any tactical vehicle or vehicle with a U.S. government license plate is considered a military vehicle. A rental vehicle used for official business is also a military vehicle.

An on-base taxi is not considered a military vehicle, officials said, but MPs can ticket taxi drivers if their passengers are not wearing seat belts.

“We will be setting up safety inspection checkpoints and hitting it hard during this period,” said Maj. David Deadrich, the Area II deputy provost marshal.

Military drivers will be assessed three points on their driving records, Deadrich said.

Officials also said they’re looking to revise U.S. Forces Korea Regulation 190-1, governing punishments for such infractions — and they’re looking to make it tougher.

“If you look at what they’re doing in Europe, they are suspending driving privileges on a first offense,” said Steve Oertwig, the Installation Management Agency-Korea Region public affairs officer.

The “Click-it or Ticket” program, officials said, has been used with great success in Europe.

After similar seat-belt campaigns were held on U.S. installations in Germany last year, officials reported a marked increase in the number of drivers using their seat belts.

Over the July Fourth weekend, officials said, 1 in 29 drivers was given a citation for not wearing their seat belts. By Labor Day weekend, that figure dropped to 1 in 64. And by Veterans Day, just weeks later, the number had dipped to 1 in 157.

Of course, officials attribute those improving numbers to a policy that allows for strict punishments.

If stopped by military police in Germany, a first-time offense results in a seven-day suspension of driving privileges. A second offense results in a 30-day suspension and a letter of counseling.

Third-time offenders lose their licenses for 180 days.

Repeat offenders can be banned from driving for up to one year.

Stars and Stripes' European staff contributed to this report.

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