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Seat belt use trends remind us to click it or ticket

HONOLULU – As we prepare to enter the second week of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort, the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) encourages all motor vehicle occupants to buckle up—every trip, every time.

Surveys of seat belt usage rates in Hawai‘i show a decrease from 97% in 2019 to 94.3% in 2021. Rates going back to 2014 can be found here or at https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/

“Hawai‘i’s belt use rate consistently tracks above 90-percent due to our universal seat belt law and strong support from our law enforcement partners but we can’t grow complacent,” said Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i, were not wearing seat belts. Preliminary data from January 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.

Hawai‘i’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 O‘ahu, Hawai‘i and Maui is $102, and the fine on Kaua‘i is $112. Drivers will receive one citation for every unrestrained occupant in the vehicle.
Source: The Garden Island

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