The "Click It or Ticket" campaign begins every year during the annual Memorial Day holiday weekend, when law enforcement agencies join forces day and night, from coast to coast, for an enforcement blitz aimed at increasing the national seat belt usage rate. The message is simple: If you aren't belted in, you will receive a ticket.
Even with a seatbelt usage rate of 97.4%, California still has at least 800,000 drivers who are not buckling up. In a crash, unbuckled drivers stand a 50% greater chance of being killed than those that have taken the two seconds to buckle in.
According to new date released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities are up nationwide for the first time in five years, with 10,335 deaths in 2012 attributed to not wearing a seat belt. NHTSA data also shows that most traffic vehicle deaths occur at night. In 2012, 61% of fatalities that occurred during the hours of 6:00 pm and 5:59 am were not wearing seat belts.
"Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer vacation season, and we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound," states Mill Valley Police Chief Angel Bernal. "If you are not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed."
Here's the cost of the tickets in California:
- An unbuckled driver is a minimum of $142 for the first offense.
- An unbuckled vehicle occupant over age 16 is a minimum of $161 for the first offense.
- Failing to properly buckle up any child under the age of 16 is a minimum of $445 per child for the first offense, plus a violation point will be added to the driver's record.
It only takes two seconds to buckle up. Two seconds! And those two seconds could literally save your life -- and also keep you from getting a ticket and paying a fine. For more information on "Click It or Ticket", please visit the California Office of Traffic Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration websites.
USING SEAT BELTS AND CHILD SAFETY SEATS IS THE NUMBER ONE BEST THING YOU CAN DO TO SURVIVE A CRASH