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California Highway Patrol Shifts Seat Belt Campaign Into High Gear

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Seat Belt

(AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – There is renewed effort to make sure every person on a California roadway is wearing a seat belt. Already, a majority of us do – 96% drivers and passengers, according to law enforcement officials. For the next two weeks, 140 Bay Area law enforcement agencies will be joining the California Highway Patrol in its statewide effort to target that other 4% not buckling up.

KCBS’ Rebecca Corral Reports:

Fines for not wearing a seat belt vary, depending on the county in which you get the ticket. In most cases, the citation is at least $100 – most often, a lot more.

“We want people to know no matter how big the fine is, if you’re killed in a crash no amount of money is going to bring you back to life,” reasoned CHP spokesman, Sgt. Trent Cross.

A seat belt, he said, could make all the difference in the world, should you get into an accident.

“A seat belt is such a small thing but it makes such a big difference in the sense that it could be the difference between life or death.”

“Most crashes, you can survive,” acknowledged Cross. “But if the crash is severe enough and you’re ejected from your vehicle your chances of survival are very slim to none.”

It’s no coincidence that the enforcement campaign comes just ahead of the busiest driving time of the year – Memorial Day weekend and summer.

“There are going to be more family gatherings, more barbecues,” Cross pointed out. “We just want people to remember that no matter where your destination may be it’s important to wear that seat belt.”

Speaking of families, Cross said the CHP was more than happy to do its part to keep the wee ones safe.

“The California Highway Patrol does provide a free service in which we can inspect your child’s safety seat and make sure that it’s installed properly,” he offered. “More than 85% of the seats we inspect are not installed properly.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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