Police Caution Motorists About New Seatbelt Law 07/17/00

PHONE: 961-2305
JULY 17, 2000


Big Island police are cautioning motorists that they will begin enforcing a new seatbelt law.

The new law, Section 291-11.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, makes it mandatory that all back seat passengers between the ages of 4 and 17 must be buckled in by seatbelts. Children under the age of 4 must still be restrained by a child passenger restraint system.

The law, Act 294 passed during this year’s session of the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Ben Cayetano on July 3, 2000, provides for a $45 fine for each seatbelt violation. In addition, violators must pay a $15 reimbursement and $7 driver education fee, bringing the total to $67. If the fine and other assessments are not paid within 30 days, the total amount increases to $92.

So far this year, Big Island police officers have issued 4,641 citations for seatbelt violations and 221 citations for child restraint violations.

Acting Lieutenant Randy Apele, head of the Traffic Services Section, said:

“Seatbelts save lives. By requiring backseat passengers to use seatbelts, we hope to reduce fatalities and injuries sustained by all occupants of motor vehicles involved in traffic crashes.”

Sergeant Sam Jelsma, head of the Traffic Enforcement Unit, added that police officers have been informed of the new law, and the new requirement will be the focus of the department’s enforcement and education efforts to increase seatbelt usage by vehicle occupants.

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