Many major injuries stemming from car accidents could have been
avoided if passengers wore their seat belts, so California Highway
Patrol and Burbank Police will be out in full force during the
holidays to enforce safety-restraint laws.
With a $35,000 grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety,
local law-enforcement agencies want to help drivers enjoy their
Thanksgiving holiday by increasing enforcement aimed for people not
wearing their seat belts on streets and highways.
“Thanksgiving is historically the most heavily traveled time of
the year,” CHP Officer Vince Bell said.
A huge percentage of California drivers and passengers wear their
seat belts -- 91% -- but 9% of 30 million people means about 3
million people are not wearing any restraints in their cars, Bell
Seat belts could have prevented many horrific injuries in
accidents that have happened on local highways, Bell said.
On May 15, doctors had to amputate the arm of a 28-year-old Covina
woman after her 2000 GMC Yukon struck a 1994 Honda Accord on the
Foothill (210) Freeway east of Lowell Avenue and landed on its side.
The woman, who was not wearing her seat belt, was partially ejected
from the vehicle.
Conversely, a rollover crash a few years ago on the Foothill
Freeway killed two people, one of whom was sitting next to a
2-year-old boy strapped into a car seat who was not injured because
he was properly restrained, Bell said.
The enforcement is part of the CHP seat-belt campaign, “Remember.
Or Be Remembered.”
Burbank Police Lt. Rick Madrid said his department plans on
running weekly traffic safety tips during “Street Beat,” a program
airing on Charter Communications Channel 6.
Although drivers should wear their seat belts year round, Madrid
emphasized the importance of doing so over the holiday weekend.
“People are out shopping and maybe thinking about gifts or finding
parking spaces and not paying enough attention to their driving,” he
said. “As a result, there could be an increase in traffic accidents