Danville police are continuing to catch drivers and passengers violating state seat belt laws as a part of a year-long Click It or Ticket campaign.
In what police are calling an aggressive enforcement, made possible by a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they want a message of safety to be in the forefront of everyone's mind.
Statistics show the state's seat belt rate last year was 95.2 percent, which they say "still leave more than a million Californians vulnerable." Collision data from 2008 shows more than 1,389 people in passenger vehicles died in crashes while unbelted. About half of these lives could have been saved, police said, if they had been wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
Teens will be a particular focus of officers, police added.
Officer Julie Parish with the Danville Police Department said in the last five months, Danville police have issued 52 seat belt citations while on the Office of Traffic Safety grant overtime, as well as 26 citations for other violations such as speed and using a cell phone while driving.
"The total number of seat belt violations issued by Danville police during the last five months is probably three times greater because the officers, during their regularly assigned shifts, are also focusing more on seat belt violations as a result of the grant," she said.
Violators, don't expect police to hand out warnings.
"Officers will not give a pass on this critically important safety requirement, so please buckle up and protect your passengers by ensuring they fasten their seat belts or use the proper child restraint system," Police Chief Chris Wenzel said.