LIHUE — Kauai Police Department Chief Darryl Perry believes many of the island’s traffic fatalities could have been prevented if seat belts were worn.
“We know that proper restraint is the single most effective way of preventing death and serious injury on our roadways,” he said. “We need this fact to resonate with our community in order to prevent tragedy. Please buckle up and buckle up your keiki.”
KPD is participating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration campaign, “Click it or Ticket.” During the campaign, which runs until June 4, officers will issue citations, $112, to drivers who are not buckled up.
As of April 30, there have been 260 citations issued for not wearing seat belts, 18 of which were written for lack of child restraints, according to KPD records.
The number of seat belt citations issued on Kauai has drastically decreased over the years. In 2014, there were 1,626 tickets issued, the most in four years. In 2015, 917 tickets were issued, and 788 were issued in 2016.
Hawaii law requires front- and back-seat passengers to use seat belts, and children are required to buckle up at all times. The child passenger restraint law requires children under 4 to rise in a child safety seat.
Violators of the seat belt laws are required to take a four-hour class and may be fined between $100 and $500, depending on the number of offenses, according to the state Department of Transportation.