Riverside Police Department Press Release

For Immediate Release

Date Friday, May 11, 2007
Contact Karen Haverkamp, Traffic Bureau
Phone (951) 353-7980

Riverside Police Department targets
seat belt violators in May and June

"Click It or Ticket" aims to increase State's Seat Belt Use Rate

Riverside, Ca- The Riverside Police Department is preparing to launch the state's annual Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign, with law enforcement from throughout Southern California stepping up enforcement of the state's occupant protection laws during the three week mobilization, May 14 - June 3, 2007. This special enforcement period is part of the state's annual effort to increase seat belt use through a combination of heavy enforcement, advertising and public awareness campaigns.

“Our officers on the roads will be looking for drivers and passengers who are not buckling up, “ said Riverside Police Chief Russ Leach. “The intent of the Click It or Ticket campaign is simple: to save lives and prevent injuries.”

California currently has the fourth highest seat belt use rate in the nation, with the 2006 Click It or Ticket campaign resulting in an increase in the state’s seat belt use rate from 92.5 percent in 2005 to 93.4 percent in 2006. Since the campaign first began in California in 2005, nearly a million more motor vehicle occupants are buckling up.

“It is our hope to see even more gains in California’s seat belt use rate this year,” said Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Director, Christopher J. Murphy. “We are particularly interested in making sure the state’s teen population is buckling up in greater numbers.”

California’s 2006 teen seat belt use rate was 90.8 percent, well below the state rate of 93.4 percent, but up from 88.6 percent in 2005.

A seatbelt usage survey conducted in the City of Riverside on Wednesday, May 9, 2007, showed local seat belt usage at 88%, down 5% from a survey conducted in June of 2006.

California has a primary seat belt law which requires that every passenger in a vehicle, including the driver, is required to wear a seat belt at all times. If stopped and found to be in violation, law enforcement will issue citations without warning. Tickets for seat belt violations range from $80-$91 for adults. When children under age six are not properly secured in a vehicle, the parent or driver can receive one ‘point count’ on their driving record, with a fine of $330 to $401 on a first offense and $795 to $971 on a second offense.

Funding for officer overtime to support California’s Click It or Ticket campaign was provided by a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.