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Didn’t ‘Click It’ and Got a Ticket? What You Need to Know

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California’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign started in 2005 and has been very successful in getting people to buckle up. Since enactment, the rate with which people are making it click has increased 92 percent. Did you know you could be fined $490 for not properly restraining a child under 16 years of age? And, subsequent tickets for not restraining a child could double.

Child Passenger Restraint Requirements in California

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 27360, & 27360.5Child Safety Belt and Passenger Restraint Requirements provides that it is the responsibility of the parent, ward, guardian, or driver to ensure children under 16 are secured by a safety belt, age-appropriate child booster, or restraining seat. 

Children eight years of age or less will be secured in the rear seat with a “passenger restraint system” or safety belt unless no other seating is available. Children two years or less, and/or less than 40 inches tall, or 40 pounds will be secured in a rear-facing “child passenger restraint system.” 

Click It or Ticket Facts in California

California’s compliance rate for making it click is ten percentage points higher than the national average. Californians buckle up and ensure children are buckled in 97 percent of the time, whereas the national rate is 87 percent. 

Nearly half of all fatalities in car crashes are people not restrained. For those fatalities 18 to 34 years of age, more than 60 percent were not restrained. Thirty-eight percent of the children 12 or under who die in car crashes are not restrained. Men are nearly twice as likely to die in a crash unrestrained than women. 

What’s more, the back seat does not make you safe. Sixty-one percent of all fatalities are unrestrained passengers in the back seat. It would appear as if drivers and passengers believe because it is dark, they do not need to click it. Maybe they believe if they can’t be seen, they won’t get a ticket. But 59 percent of those not wearing a safety belt were killed in a nighttime crash.  

Fines & Consequences for Not Making it Click

Click it or ticket is a primary law in CA, meaning that a law enforcement officer (LEO) can stop you if they suspect or see that you or a passenger are      not wearing a safety belt or secured in a child passenger restraint system. In fifteen states, it is a secondary law, meaning LEO must have another reason for stopping you other than you’re not wearing a safety belt.

The base fine for each passenger or driver over 16 not wearing a safety belt is $20. The base fine with the added court costs, fees, and surcharges is $160-165 each. These fines could add up quite quickly with four or more passengers. Subsequent convictions under this law will result in a $50 base fine, or about $260.

However, when a child under 16 is not buckled in, the base fine jumps to $100, and with the added court costs, fees, and surcharges, it is between $490 and $500 depending on the location. In Kern County Traffic Courts such as Bakersfield, Mojave, Lamont, Shafter, Delano, and Ridgecrest, it is $490 per child. 

“Click it or ticket” is a successful program in CA, but if you forget and get caught, consult with a traffic attorney before you pay the fine or challenge the ticket.

Kern County Traffic Attorneys 

Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, handle only traffic law cases. Therefore, we spend a lot of time in CA traffic courts, and since our office is in Bakersfield, we spend a lot of time in Kern County Traffic Courts. 

Not only do we sit through an abundance of cases for our clients, but we also hear the outcome of many other cases as well. This gives us a local lawyer advantage because we know how Kern County judges typically rule in various situations. 

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.  

References:

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) articleClick It or Ticket 2019 Grant Program Highlights 2019

CVC 27360, &  27360.5Child Safety Belt and Passenger Restraint Requirements