Riverside Police Department
Press Release


For Immediate Release

Date November 12, 2003
Contact Sergeant Duane Beckman
Phone (909) 826-5576
Fax (909) 826-2593


Police Department Targets Seatbelt Violators During Thanksgiving Holiday

Mobilization Theme Is ‘Remember, or Be Remembered’

Riverside, Ca- Police Chief Russ Leach is warning vehicle drivers and passengers that officers will be issuing tickets to persons not wearing seat belts from November 17 – November 30, 2003, which includes the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. The time period matches National Buckle Up America Mobilization and is part of the California Seat Belt Compliance Campaign.

“Since most crashes occur within 5 miles of home, wearing a seat belt and using child safety seats is the most effective action a person can take to protect themselves and their loved ones from injury or death in a traffic collision,” said Chief Leach.

The seat belt use rate for 2003 in California is 91.2%, however, the 8.8% of the population that fails to buckle up represents more than 3 million people – the populations of 21 states.

Last year in California, 1,268 unbelted vehicle occupants lost their lives in traffic collisions. Of this number, approximately 45 percent (571) of these lives could have been saved had they remembered to buckle up.

Research reveals that people who fail to buckle up justify their irresponsible behavior with one of the following excuses:

A month long public information campaign will use the slogan “Seat Belts. Remember. Or be remembered”. That message will be emphasized by radio and TV ads, and billboards proclaiming “Seat belts or body bags…One size fits all!”

A grant from the Office of Traffic Safety, through the California Business, Transportation & Housing Agency, will fund officer overtime to enforce the seat belt and child passenger safety laws.