LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Starting this week, don’t let the sun go down on you or your child without wearing a seat belt — or it could cost you hundreds of dollars.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department warned on Monday that effective immediately through June 5, drivers and passengers caught without a seatbelt will face a fine of a minimum $142 for a first-time violation. And the cost is even steeper for children under 16, who will be assessed a $445 fine for the first violation.

The crackdown comes as the 2011 Click It or Ticket campaign gets underway for the next two weeks.

Nighttime passengers are among the least likely to buckle up and most likely to die in crashes when unrestrained. Almost two-thirds of those who died in nighttime crashes nationwide in 2009 were not wearing seatbelts, which explains why nighttime enforcement is a priority of this year’s campaign, the sheriff’s department said.

“Lives are saved when people wear their seatbelts,” Sheriff Lee Baca said.

“California’s current seat belt use rate of 96.2 percent is an all-time high, but that still leaves nearly one million people who are not buckling up,” said Capt. Shaun Mathers of the Sheriff’s Risk Management Bureau. “In order to save lives, citations will be issued without warning.

“It’s not just about avoiding a costly ticket; it’s about keeping the ones you care about alive,” he added.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (23)
  1. diodado says:

    Why only two weeks? Everybody knows they were supossed to wear seatbelts all the time.
    What’s the point of :thru June 5th?

    1. John Andrews says:

      Diodado, It is about setting up road blocks, searching cars, and of course fines. You know in these hard economic times fining someone that is barely making it is a good way of pushing them over the economic edge to poverty. $455 is 1 maybe 2 months groceries for a single mom. How dare she forget to put on a seat belt….

      1. Teufel Wolf says:

        “$455 is 1 maybe 2 months groceries for a single mom.”

        Just because they get a ticket does not mean they have to pay it. The jails are over crowded already, so they are not gonna toss single moms in jail for unpaid tickets.

  2. The Mad Man says:

    Common sense says to click it or ticket it BUT adding more money to the court system is not doing a damned thing for the criminals who violate this LAW and will they go to prison…NO DUE TO OVERCROWDING! So if they kill someone, they pay a fine to the court system and get house arrest. NOW THAT IS JUSTICE BUT ONLY IN CALIFORNIA!

  3. Sue says:

    Good – now do this for cell phones and boom boom cars

    1. Everyday Guy says:

      Especially boom boom cars. By the way, I invested in hearing aid companies to profit off these morons.

  4. The Mad Man says:


    1. John Anddrews says:

      It is all about control. How do you enslave a free people? The same way you eat an Elephant.. One bite at a time..
      Our elected officials have been stripping us of our freedoms for 5o years little by little. Getting us used to just going along.. Now they do not even legislate regulation. Obama Czars enact them and law enforcement enforces them. Shame where our freedoma have gone.. Even the ones to determine how we protect ourselves.. So are you gong to take it lying down??

  5. Chitty bang says:

    Who are they to tell me what to do with my life? We need an ol fashioned civil war. If I do not want to wear a seat belt, then I should not have to, I am allowed to jump out of a plane, I am allowed to climb dangerous mountains or even do extreme sports with no laws against that. Its all about revenue period, they do not give a damn about Joe Smoe getting killed in a car wreck, what they do care about is making money to give judges fat raises..

    1. The Mad Man says:

      It’s you life..or death?

    2. The Mand Man says:

      It’s play or pay.

  6. John Andrews says:

    You will be protected or we will steal your money.. Is that what they are saying?? Me thinks the government should mind their own freaking business. Personal choice in safety devices should be left to adults who have reached the age of conscent.. Not some politician that wants to search your car..So he can fine you. To Serve and Protect has been replaced by to Fine and Inspect..

    1. The Mad Man says:

      Safety, when it takes the life of others for no cause except for stupidity I think is the issue here. With the money the govt gets for all these fines they could build a new prison!
      I love your comment about To Serve and Protect has been replaced by to Fine and Inspect.. I will keep that in mind when I read more about this stupid legal system we have but don’t take this all personally.

      1. John Andrews says:

        Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.. -Ben Franklin

  7. David DuPree says:

    This is a BS law, motorcycle riders don’t have seat belts, the school buses that carry our kids don’t have seat belts. Who are they kidding it’s a revenue seeker that is it. They could careless about how many people die not wearing a seat belt.

  8. Ed says:

    The fine is not big enough to get people to change. Make it $500 for a first offense and take away their license for six months if they get caught again.
    We have laws and if you break the law suffer the consequences. Don’t like the law, take the bus!

    Same with cell phones, a decent headset costs under $20.00. I see more and more people driving with a phone in their hands again instead of using a wired or wireless headset. This is not the good ol’ days where the streets were fairly manageable. We have more cars with people who have less than stellar driving skills. Older drivers with tunnel vision, young kids texting and talking, cars that can fit into bathrooms. A car can be a weapon, wear your belts and stay off your phone!

    1. John Andrews says:

      Ed, You are a moron.. $500 .. what are you on drugs..Personally Ed, I think normal people should take a baseball bat to people like you. It’s moron’s like you that allow politicians to Fine $50 for a parking ticket because you are a minute late to put another $.10 in the meter.. Lose their license…. thats is epiclly moronic.. So they lose their job because they can’t drive and go on unemployment?? Have you ever actually thought anything through properly in your life??? You are probably one of those that knocked up his freshman year girlfriend…

  9. Josh V says:

    They call it a crackdown. Sounds more like a fundraiser.

    1. The Mad Man says:


  10. jag says:

    One Thing I would like to know is how many people have died because they WERE wearing set belt? Dare they give us that information. I bet a lot. So as most of us agree it’s just revenue and most laws are there to keep the poor man down. What a system .

  11. Ray says:

    Why is our freedoms being stepped on because the State Unions wants to keep their pensions in place. This is the way that they control the people it is time that we take back our State and Country vote the Democrats OUT they are taking our freedoms away.

  12. FatBoy 2003 says:

    Like Law Enforcement is going to write those tickets. They don’t seem to be ticketing the drivers using their cell phone while driving right in front of them.

  13. BD McGee says:

    Wear your freakin’ seatbelt all the time, then there isn’t an issue.
    How hard is this to comprehend?


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