HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige joined representatives from state, federal, county, and community organizations to launch the annual Click It or Ticket campaign during a proclamation signing ceremony at the State Capitol today. Click It or Ticket stresses the importance of using seat belts, child passenger restraints and booster seats.
In 2014, 61 percent of fatally injured motor vehicle occupants in Hawaii were unrestrained. Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) estimates 45 percent of those deaths could have been prevented through use of lap/shoulder seat belts.
The national Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign, which began May 23, 2016 and runs through June 5, 2016, reminds all drivers and passengers to buckle up. The goal of the campaign is to save lives through seat belt use.
“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but too many motorists are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of getting into a crash is even greater,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director. “Using a seat belt and proper child restraints is still the single most effective way to reduce injuries in a crash and increase the chances of survival by 45 percent.”
Law enforcement agencies in all four counties will be stepping up their enforcement activities during the Click It or Ticket mobilization period, taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement.
“We enforce seat belt laws year round, day and night,” said Major Darren Izumo, Honolulu Police Department’s Traffic Division. “The Click It or Ticket campaign is an opportunity to get the word out even more. We don’t want to hand out citations, but we’d rather be doing that if the alternative is informing a loved one that you’ve just been seriously injured or killed in a crash.”
“The Click It or Ticket campaign is an annual event,” Fuchigami said. “But some people still aren’t getting the message.”
During federal fiscal year 2015, 13,934 drivers in Hawaii received citations for failure to use a seat belt. In addition, 1,691 drivers were cited for failure to secure a child under the age of eight in their vehicles.
Know Hawai’i’s Seat Belt Laws
Hawaii’s universal seat belt law requires that all front and back seat motor vehicle occupants buckle up. Adults and children must use their seat belts and child passenger restraints at all times. The fine for unrestrained occupants on Oahu, Hawaii and Maui is $102, and the fine on Kauai is $112. Drivers will receive one citation for every unrestrained occupant in the vehicle. Violators of child restraint law are required to appear in court, and if convicted, are required to attend a four-hour class and may be assessed a penalty of $100-$500.
Hawaii’s child passenger restraint law requires children younger than four years of age to ride in a child safety seat. Children four through seven years old must ride in a child safety seat or booster seat.
National Seat Belt and Child Restraint Facts
- In 2014, nearly half of the 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were unrestrained.
- In 2014, seat belts saved an estimated 12,802 people. From 2010 to 2014 seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives.
- Statistics show that motor vehicle crashes are responsible for more deaths than violent crimes. In 2014, one motor vehicle fatality occurred every 16 minutes, compared to one murder every 37 minutes. Additionally, one person was injured in a motor vehicle crash every 13 seconds compared to one violent crime every 26.3 seconds.
- If all passenger vehicle occupants five years of age and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, an additional 2,814 lives could have been saved in 2014 alone.
- Among young adults ages 18 to 34 killed in motor vehicle crashes, 57 percent were completely unrestrained – one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
- In 2014, there were 602 children ages 12 and younger killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those deaths, more than 34 percent were unrestrained.
- Child passenger restraints can reduce deaths by as much as 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents and caregivers to keep their toddlers in rear-facing child safety seats until age two or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached four feet nine inches tall and are between eight and 12 years of age.
During the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, and throughout the year, police statewide will continue strict enforcement of the state seat belt and child passenger restraint laws. This media and enforcement campaign is 100 percent federally funded by the NHTSA.