ORANGE COUNTY ( — Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies Monday were cracking down on motorists not wearing seat belts.

Deputies joined the 2014 National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization reminding the 800,000 or more Californians who still fail to buckle up in the car to “Click It or Ticket”.

Police and sheriff departments across the state, as well as the California Highway Patrol, will be taking part in the program from May 19 through June 1.

“Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer vacation season, and we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound,” OC Sheriff’s Department Traffic Bureau Deputy Shane Stewart said. “If you are not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed.”

In a crash, those who do not wear a seat belt stand a 50 percent greater chance of being killed than those who have taken the two seconds to put it on.

According to new data released from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities are up nationwide for the first time in five years.  In 2012, 10,335 people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts.

“Wearing a seat belt is one of the easiest and best things you can do to protect yourself in the event of a car crash,” Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety, said. “Taking a few moments to properly secure yourself and all your passengers before going on your way could mean the difference between life and death.”

A seat belt violation in California for unbuckled vehicle occupants over the age of 16 costs a minimum of $161 for a first offense. The penalty fees for failing to properly buckle up any child under the age of 16 is a minimum of $490 per child for a first offense, plus a violation point will be added to the driver’s record. If the parent is not in the car, the driver gets the ticket.


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