Seat belt plug (Photo credit: goodgerster)
If you’ll be joining the more than 30 million Americans expected to be on the roads this Memorial Day weekend then you should buckle up or risk paying steep fines. Until June 1, the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in full force looking for drivers and passengers who are unbelted as part of their Click It or Ticket campaign.
Those who choose not to wear seatbelts are risking more than the expense of a ticket: they’re increasing their chances of losing their lives in a crash by 50 percent. In 2012 alone, over 10,000 passenger vehicle occupants were not wearing seatbelts when they were killed in collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Seatbelts were estimated to have saved nearly 63,000 lives from 2008 to 2012.
While more drivers are buckling up in California than in the rest of the nation, 97.4 percent versus 86 percent, we still have 800,000 people or more in the state who aren’t spending the two seconds it takes to put on their seatbelts and potentially save their lives.
State and local authorities hope to persuade-whether through education or enforcement-more drivers to wear their seatbelts. Motorists caught without one this weekend face a minimum $161 fine if it’s they’re first offense; those who fail to buckle up children under the age of 16 will have to pay $490 per child, as well as receive a violation point on their driver’s record.
The Click It or Ticket campaign will be in effect nationwide, so drivers traveling to other states will encounter similar enforcement, though the fines may vary.
Everyone at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to wish you a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend.
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