Safety Campaign Saves Lives
The Chula Vista Police Department will be out in force on March 20, 2010, searching for unbelted drivers and passengers, enforcing California's seatbelt laws as part of a year-long Click It or Ticket campaign. Police and safety experts are partnered to keep this safety message in the forefront of everyone's minds and to aggressively enforce the law seat belt laws for those violators who do not buckle up.
The state's seat belt use rate in 2009 was 95.2 percent, which still leaves more than a million Californians vulnerable. Through enforcement and awareness of these preventable tragedies, fewer lives will be lost. 2008 collision data shows that more than 1,389 people in passenger vehicles died in crashes while unbelted. About half of these lives could have been saved if they had been wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
"Seat belts save lives and Chula Vista Police Officers will be stopping and citing those driving or riding without their seat belts on," said Police Chief David Bejarano. "Officers will not give a warning on this critically important safety requirement, so please buckle up and protect yourself and passengers by ensuring they fasten their seat belts or use the proper child restraint system."
Chula Vista police officers will be out at all hours during the campaign, day and night, making sure that everyone is safely buckled in. Teens will be a particular focus of officers, as their usage rate lags behind adults, yet they are disproportionately involved in more crashes. Proper restraints can increase chances of surviving a serious crash by 50 percent.
Funding for this operation supporting California's Click It or Ticket campaign was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Police Public Information Office