Holiday Seatbelt Warning 11/22/99

PHONE: 961-2305
NOVEMBER 22, 1999


Big Island police are reminding motorists to buckle up before driving to ensure they have a safe and secure holiday season.

“We have entered a special season of the year with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year approaching,” said Sergeant Randy Apele of the Traffic Services Section.

“We in the Hawaii County Police Department want you and your family to have a happy and safe holiday season. One of the ways to do this is to make sure you, your family and your friends are properly buckled up before driving.”

Apele noted that motorists who use seatbelts have a far less chance of suffering major injuries or being killed in the event of a traffic accident.

Apele added that traffic crashes remain the leading cause of death for children ages 5-14. He noted that nearly six out of 10 children who die in crashes are unbuckled. Of these, he said, nearly half would be alive today if an adult had made sure they were buckled up.

Research has shown that buckled drivers are three times more likely to restrain their child passengers than drivers who don’t buckle up.

“So let’s all buckle up,” Apele said. “It’s the safe and smart thing to do.”

He said police will be on a special lookout for motorists who violate the mandatory seatbelt and child restrain ordinances during the holiday season.

Last week, officers issued 35 citations for seatbelt violations and 11 for child restraint violations. So far this year, Big Island police officers have issued 5,926 citations for seatbelt violations and 388 citations for child restraint violations.

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