Darien Police kick off seatbelt enforcement campaign
With the Memorial Day weekend coming, Connecticut's law enforcement agencies intend to promote safe driving and increase the protection of all motorists. Law enforcement officials are out on Connecticut's roads enforcing the state occupant protection laws and issuing citations to those who are unbuckled.
The national "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign will be taking place from May 22 through June 4. The Darien Police Department will be joining with hundreds of other law enforcement agencies across the country in renewing a pledge to save lives by intensifying efforts to enforce seatbelt laws among all motorists.
The current fine for adults who are not wearing a seatbelt while traveling in a vehicle is $92. All front seat passengers are required to wear seatbelts while traveling. Passengers over 18 years old who are sitting in the rear seat of a vehicle are not required to wear a seatbelt unless the operator is under 18 years old. All passengers under 18 years old are required to wear seatbelts, even passengers who are sitting in the rear seat of a vehicle; the current seatbelt fine for persons 16 years old and less than 18 years old is $120. An operator transporting any passengers who are under 16 years old is responsible for ensuring that their passengers are properly seat belted, and it would be the operator who is cited for any of these seatbelt violations. Connecticut State law also requires that children under 1 year old and less than 20 lbs. must be secured in a rear facing child safety seat, this violation carries a $92 fine. Passengers over one year old, less than seven years old, and weigh less than 60 lbs are required to be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat; this violation carries a $92 fine. Once a child is over seven years old and weighs more 60 lbs, that child can be seat belted in a regular passenger seat.
The number one cause of death for children and teens in the United States is traffic crashes. Statistics show an average of 1 fatality every 14 minutes and 1 injury every 13 seconds due to car crashes in this country. Statistics also show that vehicle passengers have a 77% chance of surviving a fatal car crash if they are properly seat belted. The current seatbelt usage rate in the State of Connecticut is 88%; the national average for seatbelt usage is 84%.