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Laguna Beach PD to Crack Down on Those Not Using Seat Belts

It really will be "click it or ticket," and that ticket is a minimum $161 for a first offense -- if you're older than $16. Children not buckled up is a ticket worth at least $490 a child.

Laguna Beach Police Department will join many other agencies next week, looking for vehicle occupants not buckled in. Patch file photo.
Laguna Beach Police Department will join many other agencies next week, looking for vehicle occupants not buckled in. Patch file photo.

A press release from the Laguna Beach Police Department: 

The Laguna Beach Police Department wants to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket. In order to enforce this reminder, beginning Monday, May 19, officers will be joining in the 2014 national seat belt enforcement mobilization and cracking down on motorists who are not belted.

Even with a seatbelt usage rate of 97.4 percent, California still has 800,000 or more who aren’t buckling up. 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 ongoing 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. Jeff Calvert. “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. – 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, www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

For further information, please contact: Lieutenant Jeff Calvert at (949) 464-6655 or jcalvert@lagunabeachcity.net.

Stan Jacobs May 13, 2014 at 06:27 PM
Traffic officers and their agencies receive cash prizes from the NHTSA for issuing prescribed quotas of seat belt violations during the annual "Click-it or Ticket" campaign. Seat belt tickets are big business (BILLION$) and the municipalities love it. It has nothing to do about money though, the bureaucrats are losing sleep worrying about your personal well being.

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