Maui News

Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign continues through June 5

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The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation is encouraging motor vehicle occupants to buckle up as the state enters the second week of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort.

Surveys of seat belt usage rates in Hawaiʻi show a decrease from 97% in 2019 to 94.3% in 2021.

“Hawaiʻi’s belt use rate consistently tracks above 90% due to our universal seat belt law and strong support from our law enforcement partners but we can’t grow complacent,” said Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay. “Buckling up—and making sure keiki that can’t buckle themselves are secure—is an easy way to reduce the risk of serious injury or death.”

In 2021, 63% (20 of the 32) vehicle occupants that died in Hawaiʻi, were not wearing seat belts. Preliminary data from Jan. 1 to May 25, 2022, shows 8 of the 22 motor vehicle occupants who died in a crash were reported as not wearing their seat belt.

The Click It or Ticket campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, runs from May 23 to June 5, 2022. Participating law enforcement agencies will be writing citations and participating in community sign waving events statewide.

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“I would love if there wasn’t a single ticket written for seat belt violations,” said Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen in a department press release. “The fine for seat belt violations starts at $102 per unrestrained person and it is assessed to the driver of the vehicle. That could be a lousy and costly way to start off your Memorial Day weekend.”

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Hawaiʻi’s universal seat belt law requires that all occupants regardless of age or seating position be properly restrained using a child safety seat or a seat belt. The fine for unrestrained occupants on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi and Maui is $102, and the fine on Kauaʻi is $112. Drivers will receive one citation for every unrestrained occupant in the vehicle.

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