The Hawai’i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section organized a sign waving event on Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo on Monday (May 23) to inform motorists that the annual “Click It or Ticket” Campaign for 2011 has started.
Members of Hilo Medical Center’s Trauma Unit and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers supported the Traffic Services Section at the sign waving event.
Sergeant Robert P. Pauole, head of the Traffic Services Section, said roving patrols and seat belt enforcement checkpoints will be set up throughout the Big Island. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign urging awareness and the use of seat belts. “Although this campaign is from May 23 to June 5, seat belt and child restraint citations are issued year round,” Pauole said.
Hawai’i law requires seat belts for those riding in the front seat and those 17 and under riding in the back seat. The fine for a seat belt violation is $92.
Police will enforce child passenger restraint laws and will ticket drivers if children under the age of four are not properly restrained in a child safety seat—or in a booster seat until age 7. Child restraint and booster seat violators must go to court. They face a fine of $100-$500 (depending upon the number of offenses) and must attend a mandatory four-hour class.
National statistics have shown that the use of seat belts is the single most effective step drivers and passengers can take to protect themselves in a traffic crash.
According to a statewide survey taken in June 2010, Hawai’i County had a seat belt usage rate of 96.7 percent, while the overall statewide usage rate was 97.62 percent. According to a statewide survey taken in January 2010, Hawai’i County had child restraint use rate of 89.39 percent, while the overall statewide usage rate was 89.93 percent.