A national campaign titled "click it or ticket" kicked off this week-- with hundreds of law enforcement agencies cracking down on drivers who don't wear their seat belts.
The campaign, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is aimed at bringing heightened awareness to the need to buckle up correctly, and runs through the Memorial Day holiday period.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department who is participating in the mobilization, first time seat belt offenses can cost you a hefty $142 fine at minimum, thanks to several supplemental fees added on to the base cost.
Beaumont police say though they aren't receiving funds from the national program, they too, will be looking for those not obeying seat belt laws.
"...we will be on heightened awareness patrols," Chief Frank Coe said.
The Banning Police Department is also not an "official" participant, according to Lt. Mike West, but will continue enforcing laws as normal.
If you're headed eastbound, be advised that that Indio-sector CHP is fully cracking down on drivers-- and has put more resources on the streets for just this purpose.
Extra officers will be on patrol, "looking for those who choose to not
wear their seatbelts or not wear them correctly,'' said Officer Joe Zagorski of
So far this year here in the San Gorgonio Pass, two of eight deadly crashes have involved people not wearing seatbelts, according to CHP officer Darren Meyer. One of those who was not wearing an approved helmet, he added.
"Last year, eight out of 19 fatal collisions in the area involved seat belt avoidance," he added.
Click it or Ticket runs May 21 through June 3, but "motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round," the sheriff's department said.