Wear your seat belt

If you plan to be among the 3.2 million Californians AAA estimates will head out on a road trip this holiday weekend, make sure you wear your seat belt. Law enforcement officers statewide -- and across the country -- will be on the lookout for motorists and their passengers who are not wearing the live saving devices. An estimated 45 million Americans are not buckling up, said Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation. In an effort to get them to do so, he has launched “Click it or Ticket,” a national traffic enforcement campaign that urges drivers to wear their seat belts every time they get behind the wheel. Not doing so could earn them a traffic citation. Locally, that would cost around $76. Not wearing a seat belt could turn out worse than getting a ticket. About 38 people who are not buckled up die in traffic collisions daily, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2008, 14,000 unbuckled people in passenger vehicles died nationwide, the administration reported. Nearly half could still be alive had they fastened their seat belt. Statistics show that the people who are most likely to not wear their seat belt are males, teens, young adults and those who travel in pick-ups, at night, as well as on rural roads. The law enforcement effort is just one of the ways LaHood is trying to reach out to the public about the dangers of not wearing seat belts. While police officers hand out traffic tickets, an $8 million educational ad campaign will run in English and Spanish on television, radio and online through June 6.
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