SACRAMENTO, Calif. – When it comes to buckling up, daily efforts by the public and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) are making a difference. Every click of a seat belt represents another life potentially saved. This is a trend the CHP strives to continue throughout the state.
“Motorists are to be commended because seat belt usage is at an all time high in California,” said CHP Commissioner Farrow. “However, there are still a small percentage of people who have yet to realize the benefits of passenger restraints and continue to ignore the warnings about not buckling up. This education and enforcement campaign is aimed at saving their lives.”
To assist in this safety mission through September 30, 2012, the CHP has obtained the Vehicle Occupant Restraint Education and Instruction (VOREI) grant. The money from this grant will be used to support statewide community outreach and enforcement efforts by CHP officers who will encourage Californians to not only buckle up themselves, but to ensure their passengers are properly secured as well. The grant will also provide child passenger safety certification training to personnel from CHP and other law enforcement agencies.
According to data from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, an average of five vehicle occupants were killed in collisions everyday in California during 2009 (the most recent year for which finalized data is available). Among those five vehicle occupants killed daily, statistics indicate at least one of them was not properly secured inside the vehicle. In addition to lives lost for failure to wear a seat belt, hundreds of citations are issued daily. The cost of a citation for an adult not wearing a seat belt is at a minimum $142, while the cost of a ticket for an unrestrained child under 16 starts at $474, along with a point against your driving record.
“This is an unnecessary risk and a needless expense,” added Commissioner Farrow. “Buckle up, it saves lives.”
Funding for this campaign is provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.