“Click It or Ticket” emphasis begins

“Click It or Ticket” emphasis begins

One of the busiest travel weekends is upon us and the Washington State Patrol and local law enforcement officials are hoping to keep you safe on the roads with the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign. The overall theme is “Keeping Families Safe.”

During the Click It or Ticket campaign in our area, the Kennewick, Pasco, Prosser, Richland and West Richland Police Departments will be placing special emphasis on seat belt and proper child restraints. The Benton and Franklin County Sheriff’s Offices and Washington State Patrol will also be lending a hand.

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, motor vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of unintentional death amongst children. The Commission says that from 2011-215, almost half (48 percent) of children fatalities in accidents were caused by “unknown or no restraint use;” 15 percent of those were under 13 years of age and were illegally riding in the front seat. The Commission adds that 21 percent of those were riding without a booster and had been restrained only by a lap/shoulder seat belt.

Washington’s child passenger safety law reads as follows (RCW 46.61.687):

Vehicle occupants of any age must be “properly” restrained:

· Under the age of 8 or 4’9″ tall – must ride in an appropriate car safety seat. It must be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

· Age 8 or taller than 4’9″ – must use the seat belt correctly or continue use of a child safety seat.

· Under the age of 13 – must ride in the back seat “where it is practical to do so.”

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign runs through June 4 and will also include an emphasis on distracted driving.