The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is putting all drivers on notice that they must “buckle up, or prepare to pay up” if stopped by a California Highway Patrol
(CHP) officer on September 17, 2009. In fact, the entire week is devoted to ensuring that adults and children are properly buckled up in their cars.
Without restraint, there is serious risk of personal injury in the event of an auto accident of any kind.
The CHP has named the day: “Vehicle Occupant Restraint Day.” It should be a very interesting day on the state’s highways as officers will be paying specific attention to whether drivers and passengers are wearing seat belts.
“Seat belts are your first line of defense against injuries or death,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “If you’re not buckled up during a crash, you could be thrown through a window or even crushed by a vehicle.”
The statistics are very clear. Nearly one-third of passengers who were killed in automobile accidents in 2007-2008 did not use their seat belts. Wearing a seat belt has been shown time and time again to be a very significant factor in saving lives.
In 2008, the CHP wrote about 500 citations per day to drivers and their passengers who were not wearing seat belts.
This citation figure does not include the thousands of tickets written to motorists who did not have children restrained as is required by California law. Children younger than the age of six or who weigh less than 60 pounds, must also be properly buckled up in a child safety seat in the rear of the vehicle.
According to Commissioner Farrow, “The goal is to get motorists to buckle up, not just today, everyday.” He urges motorists to make it a habit whenever they get into a vehicle, as a driver or as a passenger.
The Office of Traffic Safety made the funds available to the CHP for these efforts, including overtime for officers to focus on unbuckled drivers — which in turn it is hoped will educate the public about the dangers of riding in any vehicle without a safety belt.
The California personal injury attorneys of Hersh & Hersh have significant experience in representing those who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. For more information, please contact our San Francisco offices at any time.