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Santa Monica Police Crack Down on Seat Belt Violations
By Lookout Staff
May 21, 2018 -- Santa Monica police on Monday began a crackdown on drivers and passengers who fail to fasten their seat belts.
The "Click It or Ticket" campaign will run through Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to the summer season, and end June 3, Police Department officials said.
During the two-week campaign, SMPD will deploy additional officers "on special traffic patrols to stop and ticket both drivers and passengers for failing to use the vehicle’s safety belt restraints," officilas said.
Police also will be on the lookout for drivers who fail to secure children in the proper child restraint seats.
“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits,” said Santa Monica's new Police Chief Cynthia Renaud.
“Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this inaction," Renaud said. "Seat belts save lives, and everyone needs to remember to buckle up—every trip, every time.”
Nearly half (48%) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were "unrestrained," according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NSTSA).
The "Click It or Ticket" campaign will focus on nighttime enforcement -- between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. -- when the number of fatalities rose to 56 percent, accoring to NATSA.
Police will be enforcing the law around the clock, "writing citations day and night," officials said.
In California, the minimum penalty for a seat belt violation is $162.
“This Memorial Day period and, in fact, every day, we want everyone in every vehicle to remember that buckling up could be their greatest defense in a crash,” said Rhonda Craft, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety.
“Putting on a seat belt is one of the quickest, simplest and most effective ways to ensure you and your loved ones remain safe and sound on the road.”
The campaign is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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