Buckle up! Extra patrol out looking for seatbelts

Ninety percent of Whatcom County drivers buckle up, according to a recent report, but if you’re one of the 10 percent who don’t bother, law enforcement is looking for you.

From Monday, May 14 through the busy Memorial Day weekend the national Click-It-or-Ticket campaign will have extra patrols out looking to emphasize proper seatbelt and car seat use.

According to the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, nationally “in 2016, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,668 lives of occupants ages five and older.” Whatcom County has one of the lower rates of seatbelt use in the state, according to a 2017 survey, lagging 5 percent behind the state average of 95 percent.

State law requires everyone in a passenger vehicle to buckle up. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt properly or for not insuring the passengers under 16 in your car do so is up to $124 per person. Children under eight or under 4 feet 9 inches need to be in a proper child restraint. Passengers under 13 should also ride in the backseat where practicable.

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