12,713 lives saved: ‘Click it or Ticket’ campaign begins

Click it or ticket logoLaw enforcement throughout California will be looking for drivers and passengers who don’t buckle up during the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign, beginning Monday and continuing through June 5. They will be on the lookout for drivers and passengers – including passengers in the back seat, day and night.

“We are very proud of California’s seat belt and child safety seat use rates,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “However, with nearly one million motorists still not buckling up, there is much more work to do. Reaching the last four percent of motorists is crucial to reaching our goal of zero deaths.”

“Click It or Ticket” debuted in California in 2005, and since then the state’s seat belt use rate has increased from 92.5 percent in 2005 to a record high of 96.2 percent in 2010, representing over 1.25 million more vehicle occupants who have started buckling up.

The cost of an adult seat belt violation in California costs $142, and up to $445 for not properly restraining a child under 16. If the parent is not in the car, the driver gets the ticket.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts reduce a person’s chances of dying in a crash by 50 percent. Those ejected from vehicles in crashes or roll-overs are up to 35 times more likely to die than restrained occupants. In 2009 alone, seat belts saved approximately 12,713 lives nationwide. In California, it is estimated that 320 people who were killed in 2009 would be alive today if they had been wearing seat belts.

More than 140 local law enforcement agencies statewide and the California Highway Patrol will be participating in this year’s Click It or Ticket mobilization. Funding 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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