HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT
TRAFFIC SERVICES SECTION
SERGEANT DEXTER VERIATO
JUNE 7, 2006
The annual “click It or Ticket” campaign for 2006 has come to an end nationally but Hawaii police plan to continue it informally until the middle of the month.
During the official seat belt enforcement campaign from May 15 to June 3, Big Island Police issued 596 citations for front seat occupants and for back seat passengers under 18 who weren’t buckled up. They cited another 19 drivers for violating the child restraint law. The combine total of 615 violations compares with only 146 citations last year.
Sergeant Dexter Veriato, head of the Hawaii Police Department’s Traffic Services Section, attributed the large jump to last year’s officer manpower shortage. He said this year the Police Department was able to make more of a commitment to the campaign. “We were more prepared to go out and enforce than last year,” he said.
Police will continue roving patrols and seat belt enforcement checkpoints until at least June 15. After the campaign ends, police will continue to cite those who fail to comply with the seat belt law. National statistics have shown that the use of seat belts is the single most effective step drivers and passengers can take to protect themselves in a traffic crash.
Beginning Wednesday, June 7, researchers for the state Department of Transportation began monitoring drivers from the side of highways to conduct the annual seat belt use survey. The survey will last through June 10. To increase visibility, the researchers are wearing safety helmets and vests. They have orders not to obstruct traffic flow.
Veriato noted that Lt. Governor Duke Aiona signed a bill into law Tuesday (June 6) that will require a child safety or booster seat for children through age 7. The law goes into effect January 1. Current requirements end at age 4. The new law exempts children who weigh 80 pounds or more and those who are more than 4-foot-9-inches tall.
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