Saving lives by securing drivers and passengers in vehicles throughout the state is the objective behind the CHP’s Vehicle Occupant Restraint Education and Instruction III grant.
In 2013, California achieved a 97.4 percent seat belt usage rate, and is considered one of the highest in the nation.
“Every day, someone is killed in a collision simply because they were not properly secured in their vehicle,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Seat belts save lives, and our goal through this campaign is to ensure that every person traveling on California’s roadways is buckled up and protected in their vehicle.”
According to date collected in 2011, 27 percent of vehicle occupants killed in collisions in California were not properly wearing a seatbelt. In addition to the 434 lives that were lost that year, more than 8,000 others were injured under similar circumstances.
“Buckling up is the most effective action a person can take to protect them from being injured or killed during a collision,” Farrow said.
In order to accomplish the goal of increasing seat belt usage and preventing further injury and death, the CHP plans to inspect a minimum of 12,250 child safety seats; conduct 50 child passenger safety educational classes; and purchase and distribute 2,500 grant-funded child safety seats to people in need statewide.
Funding for the program is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Public safety and city government reporter Nick Rappley can be reached at 209-568-9975 or firstname.lastname@example.org.