HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC SERVICES SECTION
SERGEANT DEXTER VERIATO
MAY 9, 2007
Big Island Police are warning residents that the annual "Click It or Ticket" campaign for 2007 has begun.
Sergeant Dexter Veriato, head of the Traffic Services Section, said roving patrols and seat belt enforcement checkpoints will be set up throughout the big Island. In addition, media spots will run and message boards will be set up along Big Island highways.
The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign urging awareness and the use of seat belts.
"Although this campaign is from May 21 to June 3, 2007, seat belt and child restraint citations are issued year round," Veriato said. During the twelve-month period last year, police issued 4,099 seat belt citations and 257 child restraint citations.
In 2006, there were 33 fatal crashes on the Big Island, resulting in 39 deaths. Thirteen of those occupants were not restrained. "The survival rate of wearing your seat belt in a crash like that is almost 50 percent," noted Sergeant Veriato. "At least half of those lives could have been saved. We need the public’s help"
According to the last statewide survey, Hawaii County’s seat belt usage rate was 94.2 percent, slightly lower than the statewide average. The same survey found that occupant and toddler restraint use was significantly lower on the Big Island.
Police will enforce child passenger restraint laws and will ticket drivers if children under the age of four are not properly restrained in a child safety seat or in a booster seat until age seven. Unrestrained drivers and front seat passengers also will be cited.
Hawaii’s seat belt law requires those riding in the front seat to use their seat belts and those 17 and under to wear their seat belts in the back seat also. The fine for not wearing a seat belt is $92. Child restraint and booster seat violators must go to court and face a fine between $100-$500, and must attend a four-hour class.
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