ABC Mobilization Under Way 05/22/00

PHONE: 961-2305
MAY 22, 2000


Police are cautioning Big Island motorists that they are stepping up enforcement efforts to see that young children are properly buckled up when traveling in a vehicle.

The Police Department has joined thousands of agencies nationwide in “Operation ABC Mobilization: America Buckles Up Children.”

The stepped up enforcement campaign will be under way from Monday, May 22, 2000, through Memorial Day on Monday, May 29.

Acting Lieutenant Randy Apele, head of the Hawaii County Police Department’s Traffic Services Section, said the purpose of the campaign is to increase public awareness that state law requires that young children must be buckled in their seats.

Hawaii’s child passenger law (HRS Chapter 291-11.5) requires that a child under 3 years old must be “properly restrained in a child passenger restraint system approved by the United States Department of Transportation.”

In addition, children 3 to 4 years old must be “properly restrained in a child passenger restraint system approved by the United States Department of Transportation at the time of its manufacture or ensure that the child is restrained by a seat belt assembly.”

Officers will also be stepping up enforcement of adult seat belt laws, because it has been shown that most adults who don’t buckle up themselves, don’t buckle up kids. Recent research finds that an unbuckled driver is three times less likely to restrain a child passenger.

The Operation ABC Mobilization is sponsored by the Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is part of an ongoing national initiative to increase belt use and save lives.

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