Grants awarded for seat belt enforcement


San Diego Police and the California Highway Patrol will receive their share of over $3 million in safety grants to enforce seat belt laws, officials said Monday.

The California Office of Traffic Safety awarded more than $230,000 to law enforcement agencies in San Diego County, according to agency director Christopher Murphy.

The rest of the $3 million will be spread among 175 cities and law enforcement agencies throughout the state and to the California Highway Patrol for enforcement of “Click It or Ticket” programs over the next year, Murphy said.

The operations will include adding more law enforcement officers on California roadways from Nov. 17-30 to look for and ticket anyone driving or riding in a vehicle without the proper restraint.

The fine for a seat belt violation for vehicle occupants over the age of 16 is $142. Anyone who fails to properly buckle up a child under age 16 pays $360 for a first offense and up to $980 on a second offense.

“There is absolutely no question that seat belts save lives,” Murphy said.

The city of San Diego was awarded the largest grant amount in the county at $42, 345. Chula Vista, National City, Encinitas, Escondido, Poway and Vista were each awarded between $20,131 and $23,180. Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Oceanside were each awarded between $13,421 and $19,753.