Click it or Ticket!

Today the California Highway Patrol will be staging a Vehicle Occupant Restraint Day to enforce the use of seat belts.

This is a reminder that failing to buckle up is likely to cost you.

The statewide campaign is designed to focus CHP attention on people who do not buckle up when riding in a vehicle.

The statistics are that 30 percent of all vehicle passengers killed throughout the state of California in 2007 and 2008, were not buckled up at the time of the collision.

In addition, law enforcement will be aggressively enforcing the state’s occupant protection laws as part of California’s 2008 Click It or Ticket mobilization taking place May 12-June 1.

The campaign relies on heavy enforcement and public education as a means to help California achieve the highest seat belt use rate in the nation. California currently has the nation’s fourth highest seat belt use rate at 94.6 percent.

The goal is to make sure that all drivers and passengers buckle up on every ride, day and night. Officers will be on the lookout for those who are not buckled up and for teens and children not riding properly restrained.

They will not accept excuses or give warnings. It’s Click It or Ticket.

California has a primary seat belt law which requires that every passenger in the car, including the driver, is required to wear a seat belt at all times.

If stopped and found to be in violation, law enforcement will issue citations without warning. Tickets for first seat belt violations range from $80 to $91 for adults and $330 to $401 for children under age 16, depending on the county.

“California is doing well with nearly 95 percent buckling up, fourth highest in the nation,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “That’s 1.5 million more people protected from death and injury by using seatbelts since the Click It or Ticket campaign started in 2005. But we can do better yet. I urge everyone to always buckle up.”

While the buckle up rate for adults has continued to climb in recent years, California’s teen seat belt use rate lags behind the general population. In 2007, California’s teen seat belt use rate was 88.9 percent, well below the state rate of 94.6 percent for the same year.

More than 280 law enforcement agencies statewide will be participating in this year’s Click It or Ticket mobilization. Additionally, agencies are encouraged to conduct nighttime patrols in an effort to boost compliance at night.

Funding for officer overtime to support California’s Click It or Ticket campaign was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.



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