April 7, 2010

A Solution for the Mean Time

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:14 pm by seatbeltssavelives

Dear Mike Eng,

As I continue to research more about the seat belt law, I do see that California is making a great effort to encourage everyone to wear their seat belt at all times. I know that laws don’t change over night, that it takes time and is a process. I’m sure it also involves a lot of committees and a lot of approvals. However, I think if the state of California is really concerned about everyone being safe when they drive, that you will encourage other lawmakers to aid in the efforts to change this law.

I am proposing the idea that the first time you get pulled over for not wearing your seat belt it’s a fine of $350-$500, the second time $500-$850, the third and every other time after that is $850-$2000. This will encourage drivers to buckle up, especially after being fined once for it.

I hope that you really take into consideration this change. This new law, along with the Click It or Ticket campaign, can help to ensure that drivers all over the state are buckling up to protect their lives.

Sincerely,

A Concerned Driver

I really think that a change like this could help ensure more and more people to continue to buckle up. I mentioned it before, and it is a choice. A choice that can save your life or not. But, I also am trying to help sway your choice into buckling up, even if it is purely out of fear for getting a high priced ticket for the offense.

Please remember to buckle up every time that you drive. Those two seconds that it takes can make a difference. It could be life or death.

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April 6, 2010

Reasons Behind it All

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:48 pm by seatbeltssavelives

After listening again and again to what the Police Officer was saying, it got me thinking more about laws and what could be done. Something he said stuck with me. He said if the fine was greater like parking in a handicapped spot, then maybe it would be taken more seriously. I wanted to see what the fines are for parking in a handicapped spot. The first time, the fine is between $250-$500. The second is $500-$750. The third or more is $750-$1000. This is something interesting, and made me think more about the changes that I want to see being made.

I know that $250 doesn’t seem like too much of a fine, but it is definitely higher than the offense of not wearing a seat belt. What I like about this parking violation is that it increases the more times someone continues to break this law. I think that the seat belt violation law should also be set up this way. Maybe the first time you get a fine of $350-$500, the second $500-$850, the third $850-$2000. I think that this would help encourage people to continue to buckle up, not just once, but always.

My main concern is to get people to start wearing their seat belt. Not just once, but consistently every time you get into the car. I think if the fine progressed the more times you violated it, the more it would encourage someone to start buckling up after the first time. It’s just an idea and a possible solution to help get this law taken more seriously.

April 5, 2010

My Own Accident

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:47 pm by seatbeltssavelives

In December, my sister and I took a wine train in Napa. We were being responsible so we took a taxi in order for us to sample and enjoy the tasting without having to worry about someone being the designated driver. We were riding in the taxi on the way home, both feeling slightly buzzed, when we went through an intersection. We had the green light the way we were going, when all of a sudden I see a car going the other direction. This car turned left, right into us. Before I knew it, the car turning left crashed into us. It happened so fast its hard to remember fully what happened. The main thing that I remember is the car kind of jumping as the driver tried to slam on his breaks. It was a little too late for that. I could feel that I was lifted out of my seat and almost hit my head on the seat in front of me. I was sitting on the passenger side and my sister was on the drivers side. This was my first car accident, and I was terrified. It took a few seconds to fully set in that we were just in an accident. We all asked if each other was ok, and got out of the car. My sister and I ran to each and we were both shaking. It was her first car accident too.

We hugged and then asked each other if we were ok. Then I said “Thank gosh for Nick Barron, because that is literally the only reason I put on my seat belt.” We hugged again and got a little teary eyed. When we first got into the taxi, I wasn’t sure if I should even put it on. I mean we were in a taxi and not going very far. I thought about Nick and his accident, and it made me put on my seat belt. My sister said that she wasn’t going to put hers on, but saw me put mine on and decided that she would too.

I do not know what would have happened to either of us if we weren’t wearing our seat belts. As it was, I still flew out of my seat and the seat belt pulled me back. It literally stopped me from flying through the windshield. My stomach was hurting and slightly bruised from the seat belt across my waist. We both got burns from the belts across our chest. I’d say that’s a little price to pay, when it could have been our lives.

This photo was taken soon after the accident

This photo of my sister was taken soon after the accident.

April 4, 2010

Several Accidents

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:00 pm by seatbeltssavelives

To further prove my point how a seat belt can save your life, I’m going to give you some examples.

The first article comes from The Daily Journal. It is about my friend Nick’s accident.

Nick Barron:

The driver, identifred by the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office as 17-year-_old San Mateo resident Nicholas Barron, was traveling at between 90 and 100 niph when he crashed at about 10 p.m. Saturday, the CHP reported.

Barron was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle, the CHP reported. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His two passengers, both male ’17-year-old San Mateo residents, were wearing their seat belts and sustained only minor injuries,according to the CHP.

Heres an article from the Los Angeles Times, about someone who was thrown from a vehicle because they were not wearing their seat belt:

The victim, whose name was not released, apparently was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car.

This is an article from USA Today, about New Jersey’s governor Jon Corzine being seriously injured from not wearing his seat belt:

Corzine’s driver, State Trooper Robert Rasinski, 34, has also come under scrutiny for allowing the governor ride without a seat belt, a violation of state law. Corzine remained in critical condition on a ventilator Wednesday with 11 broken ribs and a severely broken leg; Rasinski wore a seat belt and walked away from the crash.

Here is another article about the serious accident that New Jersey’s governor was involved n from Fortune 500:

Corzine was thrown from the front seat of the vehicle into the back seat and badly beaten up.
But almost immediately, facts began to trickle out that indicated this was more than a case of bad luck. Indeed, Corzine’s accident could become a case study for what not to do in a car. A high profile accident like this one – regardless of who is at fault – is likely to focus attention again on the issue of automobile safety, and whether automakers are doing enough to keep drivers and passengers safe.
Fact Number One: Why was Corzine thrown around the inside of the vehicle? Simple – he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. “It was not his habit,” said a former aide, Scott Kisch, to Newsday. Kisch was Corzine’s driver when he served in the U.S. Senate. “You had to tell him if you wanted him to wear it. I gave up early on.”
Not wearing a seat belt happens to be a violation of New Jersey state law. It is also beyond stupid. I won’t drive down my driveway to the mailbox without buckling up.
All of these accidents show how someone can be seriously injured and in the worst case, die from not wearing their seat belt.

April 3, 2010

A Police Officer Interview

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:01 pm by seatbeltssavelives

Luckily enough, someone I know is a police officer. He was kind enough to let me interview him for this project. The only condition is that it has to be completely anonymous. So thank you to him!

I didn’t tell him what I was writing my blog about beforehand because I wanted him to answer the questions honestly and not have any kind of bias when answering the questions.

Here is the list of questions that I asked him:

1. Do you wear your seat belt every time you drive? Why or why not?

2. If not, does it bother you that you are breaking a law? Especially since you are supposed to enforce it.

3. If not, do you wear your seat belt when in your work vehicle?

4. What is the current fine for not wearing a seat belt? Do you know off the top of your head?

5. Do you ever pull people over for not wearing their seat belt?

6. How do you think statewide efforts like the Click It or Ticket campaign are going? Are they successful? Why or why not in your opinion?

7. Do you think that in most accidents seat belts can save someone more than not? Why or why not?

8. Have you ever had a firsthand experience where the seat belt could have helped someone not be as badly injured?

9. Do you agree with the thoughts that the seat belt law is kind of a joke and not taken seriously? Why or why not?

10. Do you agree that there should be a stronger fine for not wearing your seat belt?

Any final thoughts?

Let’s take a look and see what he has to say.

What surprised me about his answers were that he doesn’t wear his seat belt, but knows that they have the potential to save his life. What choice will you make?

April 2, 2010

Some Statistics for Thought

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:32 pm by seatbeltssavelives

In 2008: 3,401 People were killed; 241,873 people were injured, 3,113 fatal collisions, and 173,657 were injured. This does seem somewhat of a low number. However 3,113 people died in a car accident in 2008. 3,113. Of the 3,113, 574 were killed from not wearing their seat belt. 574. Of the 173,657 injured, 10,857 were injured because they were not wearing their seat belt. 10,857. Seat belts not only save your life, but they can help you from being brutally injured.
As an average, one person was killed every two hours and 35 minutes. On average, one person was injured every 2 minutes and 10 seconds. For each person killed, there were 71 that were injured. There has not been a day without a traffic fatality since September 12, 200.
These are just some statistics for you to think about as you get behind the wheel and make the decision to buckle up and be safe or not. It is a decision and you chose it.
Here is a copy of a press release from 2009, about the Click It or Ticket Campaign.

STATE OF CALIFORNIA ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, GOVERNOR

BUSINESS, TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING AGENCY DALE E. BONNER, SECRETARY

OFFICE OF TRAFFIC SAFETY

2208 Kausen Drive, Suite 300

Elk Grove, CA 95758

http://www.ots.ca.gov

(916) 509-3030

(800) 735-2929 (TT/TDD-Referral)

(916) 509-3055 (FAX)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:

May 15, 2009 Chris Cochran

(916) 509-3063

ccochran@ots.ca.gov

Click It or Ticket Sign Changes Across State

Added to Law Enforcement Mobilization in Effort to Save Lives

Cost of Seatbelt Ticket Rises to $132

SACRAMENTO – Keep you and your family safe and $132 in your wallet by making sure everyone wears their seat belt for every trip.  That’s the message that over 90 local police departments and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) are telling motorists as part of the 2009 Memorial Day Next Generation Click It or Ticket mobilization, May 18-31.  The start-of-summer campaign is supported by $3 million in traffic safety grants awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Next Generation Click It or Ticket campaign relies on aggressive enforcement and public education as a means to help California achieve the highest seat belt use rate in the nation.  California’s 2008 seat belt use rate stands at 95.7 percent, well above the national average of 83 percent.

“We’re doing very well with more than 95 percent seat belt use and child safety seat use at 94.4 percent,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety.  “However, that still leaves more than a million Californians vulnerable in the event of a crash, when all it takes is two seconds to buckle up.”

Tickets for seat belt violations went up January 1st to $132 for adults and $435 for children under age 16. The more than 600 Click It or Ticket roadside signs throughout California are currently being updated with the new ticket cost.  The previous ticket price topped out at $91 for adults and $350 for children.

California has a primary seat belt law which requires that every passenger in the car, including the driver, is required to wear a seat belt at all times.  If stopped and found to be in violation, law enforcement will issue citations without warning.  Additionally, children age 12 and under are required to ride properly restrained in the back seat and those under age 6 or 60 pounds must be in proper child safety or booster seats.

“It’s critical that all drivers and passengers buckle up on every ride, day and night,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.  “Our officers will be on the lookout for those who are not buckled up and for teens and children not riding properly restrained. No exceptions or excuses.  It’s Click It or Ticket, because the consequences otherwise are too costly.  Statistics from last year’s Memorial Day Maximum Enforcement Period alone show that more than half of those killed were not wearing seat belts.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the lives of 1,791 Californians were saved by seatbelts last year.  Those not properly restrained stand an average 50 percent greater chance of being killed than those who buckle up.  While the seat belt use rates for adults in California has increased steadily since 2004, the teen seat belt use rate still falls short, with only 89.6 percent of teens buckling up in 2008.

Several traffic-related departments within the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency are working together to promote Next Generation Click It or Ticket. The California Highway Patrol will lead the state’s enforcement efforts, changeable message signs operated by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will carry “Click It or Ticket” messaging during much of the campaign, as will LED screens in various field offices operated by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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April 1, 2010

Click It or Ticket

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:34 pm by seatbeltssavelives

If you have ever been driving period you have at least seen one of the Click It or Ticket signs. Many states across the United States, including California have been participating in this newer campaign to encourage drivers to buckle up. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is the most successful seat belt campaign ever in existence. It helped to increase the seat belt usage rate to 83% across the United States. The click it or ticket campaign increased by 44 percent from 35% in 2003 to 79% in 2007.

California has its own Click It or Ticket Site. This site talks about how it only takes 2 seconds to buckle up, and that those 2 seconds could literally save your life. This campaign first appeared in 2005 and the use of seat belts has increased from 92.5% to 95.3% in 2009. Click It or Ticket is a cooperative effort between the California Highway Patrol, Office of Traffic Safety, Department of Transportation, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

This is one of the signs that can be seen along highways.

This is one of many commercials for the Click It or Ticket campaign.

Here is another commercial for Click It or Ticket.

What do you think? Is this campaign successful? Would seeing this sign and these commercials encourage you to buckle up?

March 31, 2010

The Law?

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:21 pm by seatbeltssavelives

There was a time when the seat belt law was taken seriously. In some states, as recent as 2001, police officers were allowed to arrest drivers for not wearing their seat belts. The Supreme Court favored officers making these arrests. In the Time Magazine article,“Feel Confined by Your Seat Belt? How About Handcuffs?” it explains a case where a mom on her way home from soccer practice, was arrested for not wearing her seat belt. Based on this ruling, someone could be arrested for driving half of a block without their seat belt on. What happened to this time? Why isn’t this the case anymore? I personally think that it should be. If the fear of being arrested won’t get you to wear your seat belt, I don’t know what will. As of 2004, the seat belt fine was $20.

What exactly is the seat belt law in the state of California? This seems like it would and should be a pretty easy thing to know. However, there are a lot of people who don’t know what exactly the law is. Passengers 16 and older are responsible for wearing their seat belt and can be cited if they are not. Drivers are responsible for themselves as well as their passengers and can be ticketed if anyone in the car is not wearing their seat belt. The only reason for not wearing one is a medical condition, and there must be a doctors note with them. A person can also be cited for wearing their shoulder strap under the arm. These are the rules as stated by the California Highway Patrol.

It is pretty simple. If you are the driver buckle up and make sure that everyone else is as well, otherwise you can get a ticket and the passenger, if over 16, can be cited. Buckle up. It is too late to buckle up once an accident is taking place.

March 30, 2010

The Moment when things Changed

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:08 pm by seatbeltssavelives

It was almost 5 years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. The date was August 28, 2005. I was living in southern California with Mom, and her cell phone rang. I was getting ready for work when she came into my room and told me we needed to talk. Of course being a senior in high school, I was thinking what did I do now and what is my punishment going to be? She sat down so I thought it was something serious. Uh oh. She told me that she and my sister just found out that the night before, several of my childhood friends were in a car accident. I was slightly confused and asked who and what happened. I found out that 3 of my friends were driving on the freeway when their car flipped. My Mom told me the names, but that wasn’t the whole story. One of the guys was ok, he had a few scratches, one of the guys was in the hospital but it seemed like he was going to be ok, and the last one… I heard my Mom say the words but I didn’t really understand. He died. He wasn’t wearing his seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle.

It took me a few minutes to fully understand. I just said ok, and went on with my business getting ready for work. Several minutes later I went into the kitchen and asked wait, what happened. She explained it to me again. He died in a car accident. I burst into tears. I didn’t understand how something like this could happen. We are only 17. I just saw him over the summer. We are seniors in high school. So many thoughts ran through my head, while I was balling my eyes out. Once I collected my thoughts, and stopped crying, I was able to understand more.

You never know when something will change your life. It is unexpected and takes you by surprise. This happens throughout everyone’s lives. This was one of those moments in mine. From that day on I was different. I changed. This changed me. I was fully aware that people die in car accidents, all too often, but it never happened to anyone that I knew, or who was so young. From that moment on, I made sure that I wore my seat belt whenever I was in a car, and I made sure everyone I was with wore his or hers too. I have a necklace with a dedication to him hanging in my car. Whenever someone gets in the car, they ask who it is, and I explain a short story. This not only ensures that his memory will live on, but that everyone will wear his or her seat belt. His name was Nicholas Anthony Barron. NAB. I agree with his parents take on it, being sad that he is gone, but setting an example for everyone else to wear his or her seat belt. You never know what could happen, or when it could save your life. He is the inspiration and the reason why I am so passionate about this topic. Nicholas Anthony Barron will never be forgotten. And I will never forget to wear my seat belt.

This is the sign that you see as you leave the high school’s parking lot. It is a reminder to all students.

This is the necklace that hangs in my car. This is a constant daily reminder to buckle up, not that anyone would need it.

March 8, 2010

Be Concerned Mike Eng!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 7:36 am by seatbeltssavelives

Dear Mike Eng,

I am going to be writing this blog about changing the current seat belt law in the state of California. I feel that since you are the Chair of the Committee on Transportation for the state, you are the proper person for me to express my feelings to. You are the one person who can help encourage and make this change.

The current fine in California is $132, which does seem pretty high. However, this law seems to not be taken completely serious. The current fine for running a red light is $351. I am proposing to raise the fine to at least $350, if not more.

With this blog, I am going to prove to you why the current law regarding seat belts needs to be changed. I will do this by referencing several personal experiences, looking further into what the current law is, examining the click-it or ticket campaign, an interview with a police officer and offering a solution for the meantime.

From a concerned driver,

Michaela Morales