Law enforcement throughout the State, including the Sacramento Police Department, will be searching for those unbelted drivers and passengers, enforcing California's seatbelt laws as part of the 2010 Click It or Ticket mobilization, May 24 - June 6. Police and safety experts are partnered to keep this safety message to the forefront of everyone's mind and to aggressively enforce the law to those violators who do not buckle up. This year, fines have increased to $142 for first time adult violators. The fine for children under age 16 in violation is $445 for a first time offense.
The state's seat belt use rate in 2009 was 95.3 percent, which still leaves more than half a million Californians not buckling up. Through enforcement and awareness of these preventable tragedies, fewer lives will be lost. The data for collisions in 2008 collisions shows that more than 1,389 people in passenger vehicles died in crashes while unbelted. About half of these lives could have been saved had they been wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
"Seat belts save lives and law enforcement will stop and cite those driving or riding without seat belts in vehicles," said Police Chief Rick Braziel. "Officers will not give a pass on this critically important safety requirement, so please buckle up and protect your passengers by ensuring they fasten their seat belts or use the proper child restraint system."
Sacramento police officers will be out at all hours during the campaign, day and night, making sure that everyone is safely buckled in. Teens will be a particular focus of officers, as their usage rate lags behind adults, yet they are disproportionately involved in more crashes. Proper restraints can increase chances of surviving a serious crash by 50 percent.
Funding for this operation supporting 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.