Maui News

Seat Belt enforcement begins, violators will be assessed a $92 fine

May 25, 2010, 8:04 AM HST
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The state Department of Transportation and the four county police departments officially launched the latest edition of the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign.   

MauiNOW.com file image.

Hawai‘i’s seat belt laws require all front seat occupants, as well as back seat passengers under the age of 18, to buckle up.  Violators will be assessed a $92 fine.

The child passenger restraint law requires children under 4 years of age to ride in a child safety seat, and children between the ages of 4 and 7 years to ride in either a child safety seat or a booster seat.  Violators of this law are required to attend a four-hour class and may be assessed a fine between $100 and $500 depending upon the number of offenses.

During last year’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign, police officers around the state issued 2,456 citations for seat belt violations and 159 citations for child safety restraint infractions.  As a result of the 2009 campaign, Hawai‘i’s seat belt usage rate was 97.9 percent, the second highest in the nation.

“Wearing a seat belt is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family members in a crash,” said DOT Director Brennon Morioka.  “Paying the fine is nothing compared to paying the ultimate price of not buckling up – with your life.  A seat belt will increase your chance of survival by 45 percent,” said Morioka.

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In 2009, there were 27 fatalities in Hawai‘i between the hours of 9 p.m. – 3 a.m.  Of the 27 fatalities, 19 or 70.4 percent were not restrained. To address this area of concern, all four county police departments will also be conducting nighttime seat belt enforcement programs.

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“We should be proud of our high usage rate, but that doesn’t mean our work is over,” Morioka said.  “As long as there is one unbuckled fatality, we can’t rest easy,” he said.

Along with television, radio and movie theater public service announcements, the DOT distributed 14,000 posters and statewide to fire stations, state office, schools and local churches.  The department will also be using variable message boards to remind drivers to buckle up.

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign combines the efforts of the state departments of Transportation, Health and Education; the four county police departments; the Federal Highway Administration; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; and safe community coalitions.  Funding for the campaign is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Results from the May 2009 Click It Or Ticket Campaign

Honolulu Maui Kauai Hawaii Totals
DWI 0 0 0 50 50
Seat Belt 1,457 464 287 248 2,456
Child Safety Seat 104 19 11 25 159
Felony Arrests 0 0 0 0 0
Recovered Stolen Vehicles 0 0 0 0 0
Fugitives Apprehended 0 0 0 0 0
Suspended Licenses 0 0 9 0 9
Driving Without A License 0 17 12 110 139
Uninsured Motorists 0 25 38 186 249
Speeding 0 0 48 450 498
Reckless Driving 0 0 1 5 6
Drug Arrests 0 0 0 0 0
Other Arrests 9 0 0 3 12
Other Citations 590 45 296 0 931
Truck Bed Citations 0 2 1 0 3

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