MAUI LEADS THE STATE; HAWAII LEADS THE NATION WITH SEAT-BELT USE

September 17, 2009, 7:08 AM HST · Updated September 17, 7:08 AM
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Hawai’i’s seat belt usage rate jumped to 97.9 percent during the May 2009 “Click It Or Ticket” campaign, the highest rate any state in the nation has ever achieved.  Last year, the seat belt usage rate in Hawai’i was 97.0 percent.

Hawaii's Click it or Ticket campaign ran from May 18-31, 2009.

Hawaii's Click it or Ticket campaign ran from May 18-31, 2009.

Maui County motorists led the state, with 98.4 percent seat belt use, followed by Kaua’i (98.3 percent), Hawai’i (98.1 percent) and Honolulu (97.7 percent) counties.

The “Click It Or Ticket” Campaign runs statewide between May 18-31st and aims to change driver behavior through education and enforcement. The goal is to get more motorists and passengers into the habit of buckling up, to better protect themselves in the event of a motor vehicle crash.  Police statewide issued 4,387 seat belt citations to motorists not wearing their seat belts during the campaign.  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 of seat belt laws are assessed a $92 fine.

In addition, police statewide issued 290 child safety seat citations to drivers who did not comply with Hawai’i’s child restraint laws.  State law requires children under 4 years of age to ride in a child safety seat and children between the ages of 4-8 years to ride in either a child safety seat or a booster seat.  Violators of Hawai’i’s Child Passenger Restraint 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.

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“Wearing your seat belt and placing your child in a safety seat is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones,” said Department of Transportation Director Brennon Morioka.  “Although the Click-it-or-Ticket campaign may be over for this year, it’s important to continue to wear your seat belts and use child safety seats every time you drive, even if it’s a short trip down the road.”

National statistics have shown that the use of seat belts is the single most effective act that drivers can do to protect themselves in a traffic accident.

The “Click It Or Ticket” campaign is a collaborative effort between the state Department of Transportation, Department of Health, Department of Education, the county police departments, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and safe community coalitions.  Funding for the campaign was provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Results of the survey, which was conducted by the University of Hawai’i’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning, are as follows:

SEAT BELT USE BY COUNTY: MAY 2009

Honolulu

97.7%

Hawai’i

98.1%

Kaua’i

98.3%

Maui

98.4%

Statewide

97.9%

Citations Issued:  2008 – 2009

County

Seat Belt Citations

Child Safety Citations

2008

2009

2008

2009

Honolulu

3,907

1,457

269

104

Hawai’i

56

248

5

25

Kaua’i

167

287

6

11

Maui

257

464

10

19

Statewide

4,387

2,456

290

159

(Citation data provided by the Honolulu, Hawaii, Kauai and Maui police departments.)

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