Starting this week, Ceres Police Department officers have joined 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 on-going effort to reach those remaining safety hold-outs, police, sheriff and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) 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 Ceres Police Sgt. Chris Perry. "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 (NHTSA), 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.
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 safety information, visit www.ots.ca.gov.
of Traffic Safety at www.ots.ca.gov or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Click It or Ticket mobilization, www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.