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Seat belt signs, fines and enforcement going up

'Click It or Ticket' campaign begins

Posted: May 24, 2010 11:23 a.m.
Updated: May 24, 2010 12:42 p.m.
 
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The annual lead-into-summer "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement campaign runs today through June 6, with law enforcement across the state offering zero tolerance from extra patrols looking for those not properly buckled in.

Tickets that will be handed out will cost much more than in the past, at least $142. The familiar roadside signs with the Click It or Ticket logo are being updated from the old "Ticket $80-$91" to read "Minimum $142."

The cost of failing to properly buckle up any child under the age of 16 has increased to at least $445 per child for a first offense and $1,005 or more on a second offense.

"Wearing a seat belt is just simply the easiest and most effective thing you can do on the road to protect yourself and your family," said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. "That means buckling up day and night, on every trip."

California is a national leader in traffic safety, ranking near the top for buckling up on every trip, around town or during their long commutes. 95.3 percent of all Californians regularly use seat belts according to a 2009 California Office of Traffic Safety study.

But that still leaves 1.5 million who do not wear seat belts and are at great risk for serious injury or death.

During the May 24-June 6 campaign, motorists can expect to receive tickets, not a warning, if officers find them out on the roads unbuckled. Moreover, motorists can also expect that police officers, Sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers will be out in force -- both day and night.

More than 150 local law enforcement agencies statewide and the CHP will participate in this year's Click It or Ticket mobilization.

Funding for the campaign was provided by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This effort supports the California Strategic Highway Safety Plan's strategies to increase use of safety belts and child safety seats.

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