Seatbelt enforcement campaign launched in California, U.S.

08:36, May 25, 2010      

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A crackdown on motorists not wearing seatbelts was launched in Southern California of the United States on Monday in a bid to raise public awareness of safe driving.

Police, sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers are participating in the crackdown codenamed "Click It or Ticket".

Violators will get tickets costing at least 142 U.S. dollars in the campaign that will run through June 6, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (COTS).

"Keep your friends and family safe by buckling up no matter where you're going," said Axel Anderson, captain of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Lancaster Station.

"We will be looking for motorists throughout the area who are not buckling up, day and night. It's not just about avoiding a ticket -- it's about keeping the ones you care about alive."

First-time adult seatbelt violators will be fined 142 dollars, but if the violators drive with children under 16 in the car, the fine will be 445, according to the COTS.

More than 600 permanent Click It or Ticket highway signs, which have been up since 2005, will be updated to reflect the minimum 142-dollar fine in the coming months, the COTS said.

"Wearing a seatbelt is just simply the easiest and most effective thing you can do on the road to protect yourself and your family," said Christopher Murphy, director of COTS.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers passengers and children have a 50 percent better chance of surviving a crash than unbelted occupants, while people ejected from vehicles are up to 35 times more likely to die than those belted in.



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