Once again, the Long Beach Police Department is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement May 18-31, which includes one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
"Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes," said Traffic Enforcement Lieutenant Kris Klein of the Long Beach Police Department. “As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want to make sure people are doing the one best thing that can save them in a crash, buckling up.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2013 were unrestrained. At night from 6:00 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 59 percent of those killed, which is why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuse approach to seat belt law enforcement, issuing citations day and night. In California, the minimum penalty for a seat belt violation is $161.
Officers will conduct four nighttime seat belt enforcement operations during the two week Click It Or Ticket mobilization, to help lower California’s traffic deaths. In addition to these special patrols, officers on routine patrol will also be looking for unrestrained drivers and passengers to stop and cite.
California statistics reveal that 500 unrestrained vehicle occupants died in 2013. Almost twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females, with lower belt use rates too. Of the males killed in crashes in 2013, more than half (54%) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 41 percent were not buckled-up.
“If you ask the family members of those unrestrained people who were killed in crashes, they’ll tell you - they wish their loved ones had buckled up,” added Lieutenant Klein. “The bottom line is that seat belts save lives. If these enforcement crackdowns get people’s attention and get them to buckle up, then we’ve done our job.”
Funding for these operations is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot