Click It Or Ticket Belt-Up In California

What if there were a way to save lives in California with nothing more than a simple PR campaign aimed at drivers?  There is, and it's called Click it or Ticket.  So far it's increased seat belt use that state in a very dramatic way.

Here's what California has been able to accomplish.

The numbers┬╣ speak for themselves: since the campaign began 11 years ago, the State of California has witnessed an impressive increase in seat belt use: from 92.5% in 2005 to 97.4% in 2014.
What's so exciting about that?

Seat belts are often the determining factor of whether people survive a crash.

The impact of seat belt use is stunning.  Most people know that it's important to buckle up, but what they're not aware of is how much a difference it makes if they have a crash.
According to the Centers for Disease Control,┬▓ wearing a seat belt reduces your chances of escaping serious injury or death by one half!
In a nation where car crashes are the number one cause of death for people age 1-54, seat belt use is a crucial form of saving lives.
As you can see, seat belt awareness should be an important part of any public health system.  California has certainly taken this seriously with the Click it or Ticket campaign. The increase in seat belt use from 2005 to 2014 in that state means 1.5 million more Californians are using their seat belts.  

Here's another reason to buckle up.

As if surviving a car crash weren't enough reason to use your seat belt, there's additional incentive in California.  You can get a ticket for not wearing your seat belt.  
And it's not just a small ticket... the minimum cost of a seat belt violation in the State of California is $162.  If you have a child under 16 in the car and he or she is not either in a proper car seat or using a seat belt, the fine is even more extreme: $465!  Remember, these are minimum fines, too.  Expect to pay even more if you don't use seat belts.

California leads the way.

Once again, California leads the way when it comes to protecting its citizens.  This state has some of the nation's most progressive environmental laws, and now with the Click it or Ticket initiative they're saving lives this way, too.  
According to the CDC, enforcement of seat belt laws is a proven strategy for saving lives and reducing injuries from motor vehicle crashes.  But it doesn't stop there.  The CDC also states that an important element of effective seat belt laws is that the fines are high enough to make a serious impact on the wallets of violators.  
Finally, the CDC also recommends a thorough public awareness campaign to seat belt use becomes a social norm.  Congratulations, California, for getting it right on every count!

Resources

  1. Click it or Ticket.  California Office of Traffic Safety.  Retrieved 6/2/2016 from http://www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Campaigns/CIOT/default.asp
  2. Seat Belts: Get the Facts.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 6/2/2016 from http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/seatbelts/facts.html