Federal grant adds signs along freeways and highways
Gilroy – Drivers along California freeways and highways will soon see “Click It or Ticket” signs every 50 miles, as the California Department of Transportation continues to encourage the use of seat belts.
“The signs are designed to be a permanent reminder that wearing seat belts saves lives,” said Will Kempton, director of Caltrans.
The “Click It or Ticket” campaign launched in May and is a joint effort between four departments under the California Business, Transportation and housing Agency. The signs are paid for through a federal grant from the Office of Traffic Safety.
The California Highway Patrol is working with local agencies to enforce seat belt laws.
Since Caltrans, the CHP and the Office of Traffic Safety launched a $3.1-million media campaign that included television and radio spots, the seat belt use rate has increased.
In 2004, California’s seat belt use rate was 90.4 percent and it jumped to 92.5 in 2005, according to the CHP.
“The 92.5 percent seat belt use rate translates into an additional 657,000 vehicle occupants that are now buckling up in California,” said Mike Brown, CHP commissioner.
Half of all drivers or passengers killed in California were not buckled up, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.