DOT News Release: SEAT BELT USE TRENDS REMIND US TO CLICK IT OR TICKET

Posted on May 26, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

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 Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) encourages all motor vehicle occupants to buckle up—every trip, every time.

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

“Hawaiʻi’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 Hawaiʻi 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-percent (20 of the 32) vehicle occupants that died in Hawaii, 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.

“I would love if there wasn’t a single ticket written for seat belt violations,” said Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “The fine for seat belt violations starts at $102 per unrestrained person and it is assessed to the driver of the vehicle. That could be a lousy and costly way to start off your Memorial Day weekend.”

Know Hawai’i’s Seat Belt Laws

Hawaii’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 Oahu, Hawaii and Maui is $102, and the fine on Kauai is $112. Drivers will receive one citation for every unrestrained occupant in the vehicle.

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/click-it-or-ticket

For more information on child passenger safety seats and car seat checks, please visit www.kipchawaii.org

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