Keep those seat belts buckled.
The California Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies are taking part in a “Click It or Ticket” education and enforcement campaign, through June 1.
Click it or Ticket will be targeting drivers, passengers, and children who are not wearing safety belts, both day and night. Enforcement began on May 19.
California still has 800,000 people who aren’t buckling up, despite a seat belt usage of 97.4 percent. Those who don’t buckle up have a 50 percent greater chance of being killed in a collision than those who wear a seat belt.
“Wearing a seat belt is one of the easiest and best things you can do to protect yourself in the event of a car crash,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “Taking a few moments to properly secure yourself and all of your passengers before going on your way could mean the difference between life and death.”
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, over 10,000 occupants of passenger vehicles died in collisions while not wearing a seat belt in 2012. At least half of those people might have survived if they had been buckled in. From 2008 to 2012, seat belts are estimated to have saved nearly 63,000 lives.
“It is important to wear your seat belt at all times – every trip, every time,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Through education and enforcement, our goal is to encourage all vehicle occupants to buckle up and understand that wearing a seat belt can truly save a person’s life.”
A seat belt violation in California for unbuckled vehicle occupants over the age of 16 is a minimum of $161 for the first offense. That cost jumps up to $490 per child for occupants under the age of 16, plus a violation point is added to the driver’s record. If the child’s parent is not in the vehicle, the driver gets the tickets.
For more traffic information, visit the California Office of Traffic Safety at www.ots.ca.gov, CHP at www.chp.ca.gov, or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.nhtsa.gov.