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Buckle Up or Pay the Price  

By Lookout Staff

May 18, 2011 – You already know you should use your seatbelt – every time. But in case you need a reminder, the Santa Monica Police Department's Click It or Ticket campaign is going into gear next week, just in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

From May 23 through June 5, officers will be on the lookout for drivers and their passengers who choose not to buckle up.

And the price of breaking the law will be costly. Scofflaws may pay up to $142 for first-time violations, and adults who let kids ride without wearing their seatbelts may pay up to $445 for a first-time offense.

“Many traffic deaths can be prevented if more motorists simply start wearing their seat belts," said Chief Timothy J. Jackman of the Santa Monica Police Department. "Law enforcement throughout the area will be looking for seat belt violators, day and night.”

“Citations will be issued without warning. It’s not just about avoiding a costly ticket; it’s about keeping the ones you care about alive,” Jackman said. “Remember to buckle up on every trip, day and night.”

Police say properly restrained drivers and passengers have a 50 per cent greater chance of surviving in a car crash than those who don't wear their seat belts, and that some 230 people who were killed in accidents in California in 2009 would have lived if they'd been belted in.

The Click It or Ticket mobilization is a state-wide effort that's been credited with raising California's seat belt use from 92.5 per cent in 2005 to 96.2 per cent in 2010.

“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,” Murphy said. “Reaching the last four percent of motorists is crucial to reaching our goal of zero deaths.”

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.


“Many traffic deaths can be prevented if more motorists simply start wearing their seat belts." Chief Timothy J. Jackman

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