This story is from the archives of UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

Seatbelt enforcement goes 24-7

Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware. The 2012 start-of-summer Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization kicked off this week and will run through June 3.
UCLA Police Department is joining with other state and local law enforcement officers to help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock. Seat belts are the most effective piece of life saving equipment on your car. Total costs of a first-time ticket are at least $142.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010 nationally, 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes overnight were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours.
"Too many drivers and passengers on the road at night are not wearing their seat belts, and it all too often ends in tragedy," said UCLA PD Chief James Herren "Our goal is to save more lives, so UCLA Police Department is joining agencies throughout the country in enforcing seat belt laws around the clock."
Seat belt use saves thousands of lives across America each year and UCLA Police Department is helping spread the word. NHTSA statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide.
Yet, too many motorists may need a tough reminder. In 2010, 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA, and 51 percent of them were NOT wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes.
Notable for the UCLA community is the fact that younger motorists and men are particularly at risk. Data show that among teen and young adult passenger vehicle occupants in 2010, ages 18-34, who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, 62 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash — the highest percentage of any age group. The number jumps to 66 percent when just men in this age group are included.
While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21 through June 3, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.
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