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'Click it' or risk $142 ticket over Memorial Day weekend

Seatbelt The California Highway Patrol and 140 local law enforcement agencies plan to crack down on seat belt violations over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Offenders face a $142 ticket for each adult traveling without proper restraint and a $445 ticket for each child younger than 16 not wearing a seat belt.

The parent of an unstrapped child under the age of 6 also faces a point on his or her driving record, which can drive vehicle insurance rates sky-high. If the parent is not present, the driver gets the ticket.

The crackdown, scheduled from May 23 to June 5, is part of a state program of enhanced driving safety enforcement on holiday weekends, including Thanksgiving and Memorial Day.

Since the campaign began in 2005, the state’s seat belt use rate has grown from 90.4% to a record high of 96.2%.

Nighttime riders are the least likely to buckle up and most likely to die in crashes if unrestrained, authorities said, so officers will be focusing on violations after dark.

"In order to save lives, citations will be issued without warning,” said Capt. Shaun Mathers of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which will participate in the crackdown.


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-- Gale Holland

Photo: Debra Ozolnieks fastens a seat belt on her 5-year-old son Devyn in 2001. Credit: George Wilhem / Los Angeles Times


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