The Newport Beach Police Department has this advice for motorists: Click It or Ticket.
In order to enforce this reminder, beginning Monday officers will be joining in the 2014 national seat belt enforcement mobilization and cracking down on motorists who are not belted, according to a press release from the NBPD.
Even with a seatbelt usage rate of 97.4 percent, California still has 800,000 or more people who aren’t buckling up, the statement explains.
In a crash, they stand a 50 percent greater chance of being killed than those who have taken the two seconds to buckle in.
In an on-going effort to reach those remaining safety hold-outs, police, sheriff and the California Highway Patrol departments across the state will be taking part in Click It or Ticket from May 19 through June 1.
“Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer vacation season, and we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound,” said Lt. Tom Fischbacher in the prepared statement. “If you are not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed.”
According to new data released from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities are up nationwide for the first time in five years.
In 2012, 10,335 people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts. NHTSA data also details how more traffic vehicle deaths occur at night. In 2012, 61 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed during the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts.
“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 Traffics Safety. “Taking a few moments to properly secure yourself and all your passengers before going on your way could mean the difference between life and death.”
The cost for a seat belt violation in California for unbuckled vehicle occupants over age 16 is a minimum of $161 for a first offense. The penalty fees for failing to properly buckle up any child under the age of 16 is a minimum $490 per child for a first offense, plus a violation point will be added to the driver’s record. If the parent is not in the car, the driver gets the ticket.
For more traffic safety information, visit the California Office of Traffic Safety at www.ots.ca.gov or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Click It or Ticket mobilization, nhtsa.gov/ciot.