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Sheriff’s Department Steps Up Enforcement of Seat Belt Laws

Santa Barbara County patrols will be out in force during August

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department will be out in force in August enforcing California’s seat belt laws.

The increased effort is part of the ongoing Click It or Ticket campaign. The campaign relies on heavy enforcement and public education to help California achieve 100 percent seat belt use. The state’s seat belt use rate in 2008 was 95.7 percent.

“We want to make sure that all drivers and passengers buckle up on every ride, day and night,” Goleta Police Chief Phil Willis said. “Our officers will be on the lookout for those who are not buckled up and for teens and children not riding properly restrained.” 

California requires that every passenger in the car, including the driver, wear a seat belt at all times. If stopped and found to be in violation, law enforcement will issue citations without warning. 

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department will be out at all hours during the year, including nights and weekends. They will be watching teens closely, as their buckle up rate lags behind adults, yet they are disproportionately involved in more crashes. Proper restraints can increase chances of surviving a serious crash by 50 percent.

Funding for the operation 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.

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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