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Office of Traffic Safety

Click It or Ticket

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It only takes two seconds to buckle up. Two seconds! And those two seconds could literally save your life. They will also keep you from getting a ticket and a fine.

Law enforcement throughout California will be looking for drivers and passengers who don’t buckle up during the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt campaign. They will be on the lookout for drivers and passengers - including passengers in the back seat, day and night.

“Click It or Ticket” debuted in California in 2005, and since then the state’s seat belt use rate has increased from 92.5 percent in 2005 to a record high of 97.4 percent in 2014, representing over 1.5 million more vehicle occupants who have started buckling up.

The minimum ticket cost of an adult seat belt violation in California is $162 and up, and a minimum of $465 for not properly restraining a child under 16. If the parent is not in the car, the driver gets the ticket

So when you load up the family for a road trip, a trek across town or just driving to school or work, please do so safely – every trip, every time, day and night. Don’t put your own life at risk, or the life of your family or friends. Buckle up.

Using seat belts and child safety seats is the number one best thing you can do to survive a crash.

Seat Belt Facts

Be a Part of the Progress

  • The national seat belt use rate is at 87 percent, and in California it’s over 97 percent, which is good, but we can do better. That still leaves over a half million drivers and passengers on California roadways unbuckled or kids not in safety seats.

Enforce Life-Saving Laws

  • Click It or Ticket isn’t about the citations; it’s about saving lives. In 2013, there were 9,580 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. To help prevent crash fatalities, we need to step up enforcement and crack down on those who don’t wear their seat belts.
  • Seat belt use is required by law for a reason: In 2012 seat belts saved an estimated 12,174 people from dying. From 2008 to 2012 seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives.
  • If all passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, an additional 3,031 lives could have been saved in 2012 alone.

Face the Facts

  • In 2013, nearly half of the motor vehicle occupants who died in crashes were unrestrained.
  • Among young adults 18 to 34 years old killed in crashes, 61 percent were completely unrestrained – the highest percentage of all age groups.
  • In 2013, there were 638 children 12 and younger killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those fatalities, more than a third (38%) 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 they wear their seat belts at a lower rate than women do – 54 percent of men in fatal crashes were unrestrained, compared to 41 percent for women.

Bust the Myths

  • Vehicle type: There seems to be a misconception among those who drive and ride in pickup trucks that their large vehicles will protect them more than other vehicles in crashes. But the numbers say otherwise. Sixty-three percent of pickup truck occupants who were killed were not buckled up. That’s compared to 43 percent of passenger car occupants who were killed while not wearing their seat belts. Regardless of vehicle type, seat belt use is the single most effective way to stay alive in a crash.
  • Seating position: Too many people wrongly believe they are safe in the back seat unrestrained. Half of all front-seat occupants killed in crashes in 2012 were unrestrained, but 61 percent of those killed in back seats were unrestrained.
  • Rural versus urban locations: People who live in rural areas might believe that their crash exposure is lower, but in 2013, there were 13,038 crash fatalities in rural locations, compared to 8,079 crash fatalities in urban locations. Out of those fatalities, 51 percent of those killed in the rural locations were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 46 percent in urban locations.

Click or Ticket — Day and Night

  • High-visibility seat belt enforcement is important 24 hours a day, but nighttime is especially deadly for unbuckled occupants. In 2013, about 59 percent of passenger vehicle occupants were killed at night (6 p.m. – 5:59 a.m.) who were not wearing their seat belts.