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UC Police Target Seat Belt Use

University of California Police Department Targets Seat Belt Violators in May, June Including Memorial Day

Objectives: To reduce preventable death and injury and raise public awareness

(May 9, 2005)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — University of California, Riverside Police Chief Hank Rosenfeld is warning vehicle drivers and passengers that the University of California Police Department (UCPD) will participate in the National “Click It or Ticket” campaign, a special enforcement period from May 16 through June 5 during which officers will be focusing on seat belt violations.

The goal of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign is to save lives and prevent injuries, as well as to improve compliance with the law. According to Rosenfeld, 1,343 people who were not wearing seat belts were killed in California vehicle crashes in 2002.

“Taking the few seconds to buckle a seat belt is the most effective thing a person can do to save his or her life,” he added.

Enforcement activity will include citations, which carry fines of $89 for a first offense and $191 for a second offense for people age 16 or older observed without a seat belt while riding in a vehicle.

California courts view violations very seriously when children under 16 are not properly secured in a vehicle. If cited, drivers may receive one “point count” on their driving record, with a maximum fine of $340 for a first offense, which increases to $871 for a second offense.

“These amounts pale in comparison to the costs to society for each death or injury that could be prevented by wearing a seat belt,” Rosenfeld said.

The 2004 California Seat Belt Use Survey revealed that 90.4 percent of vehicle occupants wear their seat belts. That leaves 3 million people who do not buckle up on California roadways with a high likelihood of receiving a seat belt ticket during the three-week campaign.

“Ultimately, our hope is to change drivers' habits and keep our communities, and especially our children, safer and healthier,” Rosenfeld added.

Police officers of the University of California Police Department are armed, duly sworn peace officers of the State of California. Empowered by the California Penal Code, UCPD officers have the same authority, and adhere to the same state-mandated standards, as municipal police officers. California law empowers UCPD officers to enforce laws and make arrests anywhere in the state however, they concentrate their efforts on University of California campuses and their immediately surrounding neighborhoods. The UCPD works closely and cooperatively with the City of Riverside Police Department, with whom they share proximity, mutual interests, and geographic jurisdiction.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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