Tuesday, May 23 , 2017, 4:58 am | Fog/Mist 54º

 
 
 
 
Posted on May 19, 2017 | 7:17 a.m.

Click It or Ticket — No Excuses

Source: Joshua Morton for Santa Barbara Police Department

As summer kicks off and families hit the road for vacations, the Santa Barbara Police Department and California Office of Traffic Safety is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket.

Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep drivers and their passengers safe, the national seat belt campaign will take place May 22-June 4, concurrent with one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends of the year.

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 special patrols, officers on routine patrol will be looking for unrestrained drivers and passengers to stop and cite.

“Our law enforcement personnel see firsthand the loss of life when people refuse to buckle up,” said Chief Lori Luhnow, Santa Barbara Police Department.

“It’s such a simple thing, and it should be an automatic next step after sitting down in a vehicle.”

As Memorial Day weekend approaches and summer vacation season ramps up, Luhnow said: “We want to keep our community members safe, and make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash: buckling up.

"If the campaign wakes up the hundreds of thousands of Californians who still don’t heed the dangers of unrestrained driving and gets them to buckle up, we’ll consider it a success.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half the 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained.

During nighttime hours, that number soared to 57 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement.

Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt-law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

In Santa Barbara, the ticket cost for an adult seat-belt violation is $162, with penalties for not restraining a child at $465.
 
In 2015, 545 Californians where killed because they did not buckle their seat belts according to NHTSA.

Nationally, 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 2015, more than half (52 percent) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 42 percent were not buckled up.

“Please, help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction,” said Chief Luhnow “Seat belts save lives, and everyone needs to remember to buckle up, every trip, every time.”

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.

— Joshua Morton for Santa Barbara Police Department.

 
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