Click It or Ticket: Save a life, cost of
expensive ticket for not buckling up

May 16, 2014
Santa Paula News

You’ll have the choice between click it or ticket for doing something that should be second nature anyway: wearing your vehicle seat belt and making sure all riders in your vehicle have done the same.

And although you can get a ticket anytime for not buckling up the Santa Paula Police Department has kicked off a high visibility enforcement of the seatbelt law.

SPPD Sgt. Jeremy Watson said the SPPD “Wants to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket,” in time for Monday, May 19 when local officers will be joining in the 2014 national seat belt enforcement mobilization and cracking down on motorists who are not belted. 

“Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer vacation season, and we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound,” Watson said Monday. “If you are not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed.”

And how: “I wrote a ticket about an hour ago for someone not wearing a seatbelt,” said Watson, who noted that those stopped and ticketed for seatbelt infractions often run a gauntlet of excuses.

“They say, ‘I forgot’ or ‘I just left my driveway and forgot to put my belt on,’ or even ‘I had my seatbelt on!’ Which at that very moment might be true... I’ve seen people click it after they see us,” but even after-the-fact clicking won’t get the offender out of a ticket.

Even with a seatbelt usage rate of 97.4 percent, California still has 800,000 or more who aren’t buckling up. 

And, in a crash, those who are not wearing a seatbelt stand a 50 percent greater chance of being killed than those who have taken the two seconds to buckle in. 

The cost for a seat belt violation in California for unbuckled vehicle occupants over age 16 is a minimum of $161 for a first offense. The penalty fees for failing to properly buckle up any child under the age of 16 is a minimum $490 per child for a first offense, plus a violation point will be added to the driver’s record. If the parent is not in the car, the driver gets the ticket. 

In an on-going effort to reach those remaining safety holdouts, police, sheriff and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) departments across the state will be taking part in Click It or Ticket from May 19 through June 1. 

According to new data released from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities are up nationwide for the first time in five years. In 2012, 10,335 people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts. NHTSA data also details how more traffic vehicle deaths occur at night. In 2012, 61 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed during the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. - 5:59 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts.   

“Wearing a seat belt is one of the easiest and best things you can do to protect yourself in the event of a car crash,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffics Safety. “Taking a few moments to properly secure yourself and all your passengers before going on your way could mean the difference between life and death.”

For more traffic safety information, visit the California Office of Traffic Safety at or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Click It or Ticket mobilization,

Watson noted that although the Click It or Ticket campaign ends June 1 that doesn’t mean the SPPD won’t continue to look for those not buckling up and issuing tickets to offenders.

Said Watson, “Wearing a seatbelt and making sure everyone in your vehicle is properly buckled up is a year-round issue... “ 

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