LBPD increasing seat-belt fines, giving no warnings

Keep yourself and your family safe and $132 in your wallet by making sure everyone wears their seat belts for every trip. That’s the message the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) is telling drivers as part of the 2009 start-of-summer Click It or Ticket mobilization from May 18 to May 31. Fines and fees have gone from under $100 to $132 this year for first-time adult seat-belt violations. For children under 16, the fine is now $435 for the first-time offense.
No warnings will be given out, as the LBPD will be aggressively enforcing the state’s occupant protection laws. The Click It or Ticket campaign relies on heavy enforcement and public education as a means to help save lives on California’s roadways.
“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year,” said Police Chief Anthony Batts. “Buckling up will not only save you a heavy fine, it can also save your life. We’re not giving warnings. It’s ‘Click It or Ticket.’”
Currently California has a seat-belt usage rate of 95.7 percent, which still means more than half a million people are not buckling up. Properly restrained drivers, passengers and children, have a 50-percent better chance of surviving a crash than unbelted occupants. Those ejected from vehicles in crashes or rollovers are up to 35 times more likely to die than restrained occupants.
“Buckling up just makes sense,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “It takes only two seconds for an action that can make the difference whether you or your family gets home today.”
More than 90 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.

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