Even though California’s seat belt requirement was put into law more than a quarter-of-a-century ago, there are some drivers and passengers who still resist the few seconds it takes to safely buckle up, or they may not properly secure a child in a car seat. The simple act of not buckling up can have life-changing consequences, such as injuries or death.
“An overwhelming majority of Californians are buckling up, yet there is still work to be done,” said California Highway Patrol (CHP) Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Our goal is to save lives, and one way to help achieve that is to have every single person traveling in a motor vehicle wear a seat belt or safely secured in an appropriate child passenger safety seat.”
To accomplish this mission, the CHP received a federal grant to help fund a campaign that educates drivers on the importance of passenger restraints. Efforts from the statewide Vehicle Occupant Restraint Education and Instruction II (VOREI II) campaign are already underway and will continue through September 30, 2013.
The objective of the VOREI II grant is to reduce the number of unrestrained vehicle occupants killed or injured in traffic collisions through educational classes and child safety seat inspection events. In addition, grant-funded child safety seats will be distributed to motorists and CHP officers will conduct additional seat belt enforcement out on the roadways.
According to the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, in 2010, the most-recent year statistics are available, 439 people were killed and more than 9,000 others were injured in collisions where those involved were not buckled up.
“Wearing a seat belt, or using a child safety seat, will dramatically improve a person’s chances of survival if they are involved in a crash,” added Commissioner Farrow. “Buckle up every trip, every time. It might save your life.”
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.