East Hawaii News

DOT, HPD Annual ‘Click It or Ticket’ Campaign

May 8, 2015, 11:50 AM HST
* Updated May 8, 11:54 AM
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Hawai’i Department of Transportation and the Hawai’i Police Department will kick off the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign on Monday, May 11 by “buckling down on those who are not buckled up.”

Each year, the DOT, along with police departments from each county, rally to save lives and reduce injuries by reminding the public to buckle their seat belts.

The 2015 campaign will last through May 25.

According to the DOT, 11,854 drivers in Hawai’i were recipients of a citation for not using a seat belt during FY2014. Of the nearly 12,000 offenses, 1,573 were for failing to secure a child under the age of eight in their vehicles. The DOT reports that Hawai’i’s seat belt usage rate was 94 percent as of June 2014, the same rate as 2013.

“We’ve heard too many stories about senseless deaths that were the result of motor vehicle occupants being ejected from their vehicles,” said DOT Director Ford Fuchigami. “The majority of those deaths could have been avoided if motor vehicle occupants simple remembered to wear their seat belts and restrain children in child safety seats.”

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In Hawai’i, the law requires that all front and back seat motor vehicle occupants buckle their safety belts. On the Big Island, a fine for unrestrained occupants is $102. The fine is the same as Oahu and Maui. Kauai’s fine is $112.

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Children under the age of four are required by Hawai’i’s Child Passenger Restraint Law to ride in a child passenger restraint or booster seat. If a driver fails to meet this requirement, the violator must appear in court. If convicted, the violator is required to attend a four hour class and could face a monetary penalty of $100-$500.

During the “Click It or Ticket” mobilization period, law enforcement in all four counties will be stepped up. The mobilization is supported nationally through a paid advertising campaign.

Throughout the duration of the national “Click In or Ticket” mobilization and through continued enforcement throughout the year, police throughout Hawai’i will strictly impose the state seat belt and child passenger laws.

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The enforcement campaign is 100 percent funded federally by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Facts about Seat Belts and Child Restraint by the DOT:

In 2012, seat belts saved an estimated 12,174 people from dying nationally. From 2008 through 2012, seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives.

If all passenger vehicle occupants 5 years of age and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, an additional 3,031 lives could have been saved in 2012 alone.

In 2013, nearly half of the motor vehicles occupants who died in crashed were unrestrained.

Among adults 18 to 34-years-old killed in crashed, 61 percent were completely unrestrained, the highest percentage of all groups.

In 2013, there were 638 children 12 and younger killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those fatalities, more than one third, 38 percent, were unrestrained.

Men make up the majority of those killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In 2013, about 65 percent of the 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants killed were men. So it comes as no surprise that men wear their seat belts at a lower rate than women. Fifty-four percent of men in fatal crashes were unrestrained, compared to 41 percent for women.

Child passenger restraints can reduce deaths by as much as 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents and caregivers to keep their toddlers in rear-facing child safety seats until age two or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4’9” tall and are between eight and 12-years-old.

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