Buckle Up or Else

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP Image
    ISP took in some extra money in a recent seat belt violation sting on the toll road.

    Law enforcement officials throughout the Bay Area and the rest of  California will begin increased enforcement of drivers and passengers not  wearing seat belts starting Monday.
         
    The enforcement operation will start Monday and run through June  6. Authorities believe there are more than half a million people in the state  that do not wear a seat belt when driving.
         
    The operation will also feature an updating of the "Click It or Ticket" highway signs that have been up since 2005. In the coming months, the  signs will be updated to mention that the minimum fine for adult seat belt  violations now costs $142.

    The fine went up from $132 at the start of this year. The fine is  also now $445 for children under 16 years old, according to authorities.

    "Wearing a seat belt is just simply the easiest and most effective  thing you can do on the road to protect yourself and your family,"  Christopher Murphy, director of California's Office of Traffic Safety, said  in a statement."

    Studies show that properly restrained drivers, passengers and  children have a 50 percent better chance of surviving a crash than unbelted  occupants. People ejected from vehicles in crashes are up to 35 times more  likely to die than people wearing seat belts.

    More than 150 local law enforcement agencies statewide, including  several in the Bay Area, will join the California Highway Patrol in the  operation.

    Fairfield police Sgt. Mike Mitchell said in a statement that  officers "will be looking for motorists throughout the area who are not  buckling up, day and night. It's not just about avoiding a ticket; it's about  keeping the ones you care about alive."