UPD Joins Statewide Seatbelt Watch

May 22, 2006
Joining more than 350 law enforcement agencies across California, the Humboldt State University Police Department (UPD) is intensifying seatbelt enforcement within campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods from now through Sunday, June 4.

Interim Chief of Police Thomas Dewey stated, "for the second year in a row, UPD is participating in the statewide 'Click It or Ticket' Campaign to remind both drivers and passengers to buckle their seatbelts or face major fines and other penalties."

The fine for unbuckled vehicle occupants over the age of 16 is $80 to $91, depending upon the jurisdiction. Drivers who fail to properly buckle up any child under age 16 face a potential fine of about $350 for each unsecured child.

The three-week period of heightened surveillance encompasses the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend, as did last year's campaign, when the CHP and local police departments issued more than 155,000 seat belt citations across the state in the program's debut. The results were immediate: seat belt use increased from 90.4 percent in 2004 to 92.5 percent in 2005. The additional 2.1 percentage point increase translated into 657,000 additional vehicle occupants buckled up in California. Chief Dewey is optimistic that the enforcement campaign will boost awareness locally, resulting in more students, staff, faculty, and campus visitors buckling up.

"The result clearly translates to a safer, healthier campus community," said Chief Dewey. "Just about every year, we are saddened to learn of a student or staff member from Humboldt State who was injured or killed when not wearing a seat belt. Accidents will always occur, but many deaths and injuries could have been prevented by the proper use of vehicle restraint systems."