Sheriff's Deputies Say Wear a Seatbelt or Get a Ticket

Deputies will be out in force for the Click It or Ticket program throughout the county. Authorities will issue citations without warning. So wear your seatbelt!

Heading into the summer, there’s not much you can do to lower the cost of filling up the gas tank, but you can avoid a costly ticket by making sure that everyone in the car wears a seatbelt.

Law enforcement throughout the state, including the  will be looking for unbelted drivers and passengers as part of the 2012 Click It or Ticket mobilization, May 23-June 5, according to a press release from Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Ogurek of the . 

The , which does enforcement in Altadena, also participates in the program.

The fines and fees for first-time adult seatbelt violations is a minimum of $142. For children under 16, the fine is $445 for a first-time offense.

Because nighttime drivers and passengers are among those least likely to buckle up, and most likely to die in crashes when unrestrained, nighttime enforcement has become a priority of the Click It or Ticket mobilization. Nationwide, of those who died in nighttime crashes in 2009, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) were not wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes.

“Many nighttime traffic deaths can be prevented if more motorists simply start wearing their seat belts,'' said Sheriff's Capt. David Silversparre of the Crescenta Valley Station.

"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,'' he said.

California’s current seatbelt use rate of 96.2 percent is at an all- time high, but that still leaves nearly one million people who are not buckling up, putting their lives at risk every time they get into the car. The Click It or Ticket mobilization is credited with increasing the state’s adult seat belt usage rate from 92.5 percent in 2005 to 96.2 percent in 2010.

“We are very proud of California’s seatbelt 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. Reaching the last four percent of motorists is crucial to reaching our goal of zero deaths.”

More than 600 permanent Click It or Ticket highway signs, which have been up since 2005, have been updated to reflect the "Minimum $142" message as a reminder to motorists that failing to buckle up is costly.

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 roll-overs are up to 35 times more likely to die than restrained occupants.  In 2009 alone, seat belts saved approximately 12,713 lives nationwide.  In California, it is estimated that 320 people who were killed in 2009 would be alive today if they had been wearing seat belts.

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.

Robby May 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Travis Bickle May 14, 2012 at 08:07 PM
How does not wearing a seat belt affect CA? What ever happened to Darwinism?
Lorraine Pozniak May 14, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I wish the police would focus on the people who cause the accidents in the first place, people who are impaired or distracted and people who are aggressive drivers who don't follow the law. A perfect example happened to me last night; I was leaving Ralphs at the same time as some guy was leaving Everest. He proceeded to drive along Mendocino Street, towards the golf course, at 20 mph, with me patiently behind him. He was clearly either impaired by alcohol, drugs or old age, or distracted by his passenger, cell phone or something. To top that, some guy in a huge truck got behind me and started shining his brights and tailgating me. At that point, I pulled over & let him tailgate the slowpoke. The whole situation was an accident waiting to happen.
Geoff A. May 14, 2012 at 10:44 PM
It doesn't, unless said seat belt helps mitigate serious injury or death. If the seat belt does statistically reduce injuries and death in accidents, then how does trying to reduce the amount and type of responders to the scene of an accident NOT affect CA? Ever seen freeways shut down because of a traffic fatality?
Patrick Lee May 15, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Wearing seatbelts prevents unnecessary death and serious injury. That's a fact, substantiated by decades of research. Preventing death and serious injury is a benefit to the State of California for a variety of reasons, but mainly because it saves us all the cost of caring for the injured, making up for the loss of a productive member of society and taking up the slack in providing for that person's family. QED
mister altadena May 15, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Using those reasons, why can't California ban all smoking, everywhere, all the time? To wit, according to an LA Times article from 1/11: Chris Cochran, spokesman for the California Office of Traffic Safety, said that even with high seat-belt use, the deaths of 300 to 400 people on California roadways last year (2010) could have been prevented had they been wearing safety belts. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/06/local/la-me-seat-belts-20110106 (3/4 of way down). However, smoking accounted for over 36,000 deaths in Calif. from 2000-2004... maybe 7,000+ per yr. See here: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5802a2.htm (scroll down 3/4 of the page). So, if gov't is going to intrude, wouldn't it be time better spent "saving" more than a few? I think many of us know the answer to this..... tobacco cos/lobbyists have $$$ to fight anti smoking laws but there really isn't an "anti seat belt" lobby. Smoking and wearing seat belts are personal choices, just that making a law to wear seat belts is met w/ almost no resistance.
Patrick Lee May 15, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Mister Altadena: I agree. We should ban smoking.
Robby May 15, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Using that reasoning, we should ban all voluntary activities which may lead to costly hospitalization or health care issues. Like rollerblading. Or recreational driving. Or getting pregnant. Or going outside without sunscreen. Failing to floss after brushing. Owning a tripping hazard cat. Climbing ladders. Riding horses. Climbing Half Dome. Sedentary office work. Being elderly. Your line of thinking is creepy. You make society seem like the Borg collective. I'm with Lorraine - I see puh-lenty of ridiculous driving behavior around town. How about stopping people who are driving dangerously and recklessly, blowing through lights and stop signs, weaving around, etc.? If someone isn't driving (or cycling!) stupidly, then leave them the heck alone. No checkpoints, no easily-abused "he said-she said" seatbelt or distracted driving garbage.
Richard May 15, 2012 at 09:56 PM
For you guys who are complaining about all the crazy driving you see around and asking why the cops don't stop all of that before worrying about seatbelts, I have to ask: How many times, upon seeing someone driving drunk or with a cell phone out or whatever, have you pulled your own car over, taken out your phone, called 911, and reported what you're seeing?
Revvell May 15, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Yay Richard! Oh, get the license number of the car; where it's located; etc. Deputies and CHP can only be where they are, not where you are unless you let them know!
mister altadena May 16, 2012 at 03:58 AM
@ Robby, my post was about related deaths, not related health costs. To me, they're different.
Lorraine Pozniak May 16, 2012 at 02:38 PM
I've called 911 to report "accidents waiting to happen" more times than I can count, over the years.


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