As a result of Governor Charlie Crist's efforts to improve safety on the road, drivers in Florida are required to buckle up; and now, law enforcement agencies across the state are escalating their efforts to help save lives with a notorious program, "Click It or Ticket" campaign.
The campaign officially kicks off Monday morning, and according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety, in 2008, nearly 3,000 individuals were killed in motor vehicle related crashes. Of these traffic deaths, approximately 1,795 individuals were either drivers or passengers in safety belt equipped vehicles; in addition, in 2008, 68% of the children, less than 17 years of age, killed in traffic crashes, were not using seatbelts.
This is a primary enforcement law, which means drivers' can simply be pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. Not only is this a huge safety concern, it's a financial burden as drivers' will be faced with a $110.00 ticket; the penalty for violating the Child Restraint Law is a $160.00.
On the Florida DMV's website, it states that ticket fines begin at $30, however, the Bay County Clerk of Courts office tell NewsChannel 7, "It is important to understand that the base fine for a non-moving violation is $30, however, the state mandates extra costs and fees to be collected with these fines, which ultimately add up to $110."
"With 30 percent of traffic fatalities due to Floridians failing to buckle up regularly, it’s clear that far too many people still don’t take the safety belt law seriously," said the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. "The unbuckled rate is especially high — and the fatal crash rate increases significantly at night. So look for us to be out on the streets both day and night in March making sure that everyone is buckled up.”
The mandatory seatbelt law was passed June 30, 2009, during a legislative session. "'This bill will save lives. That's really what's important,'' said Gov. Charlie Crist. ``The most important function of government is to protect.''