May 5, 2006
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office is warning drivers and passengers that deputies will be issuing tickets to persons not wearing seat belts from May 15 through June 04, 2006, including the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The special enforcement period is part of the state’s “Click It or Ticket” seat belt campaign.
While deputies in contract cities of Cupertino, Saratoga and Los Altos Hills will be writing tickets, compliance with the law, saving lives and preventing injuries is the main goal. The 961 vehicle occupants killed in California crashes in 2004 who did not wear their seat belts had one thing in common: they did not believe it could happen to them!
“What does it take to convince people to buckle up?” is a question to consider, according to Sergeant Carl Neusel, of the Sheriff’s West Valley Division. “Taking the few seconds to buckle a seat belt is the most effective thing a person can do to save their life.”
Besides buckling their own seat belts, drivers must make sure their passengers’ seat belts are buckled as well, or they can be cited for each passenger 16 years and older that is not buckled up. Additionally, says Sergeant Neusel, passengers 16 years and older can be cited if they are not secured in their seat belts.
The maximum fine for seat belt violations for persons 16 and older is $91 for a first offense and approximately $193 for a second offense.
The 2005 California Seat Belt Use Survey revealed that 92.5% of vehicle occupants wear their seat belts. “The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office is committed to making the streets in its contract cities the safest possible,” said Sergeant Neusel.