The national "Click It or Ticket" enforcement wave will be taking place from May 21 through June 3. The Darien Police Department will join with hundreds of other law enforcement agencies across the country in renewing a pledge to save lives by intensifying efforts to enforce seatbelt laws among all motorists.
The current fine for adults who are not wearing a seatbelt while traveling in a vehicle is $92. All front seat passengers are required to wear seatbelts while traveling. Passengers older than 18 who are sitting in the rear seat of a vehicle are not required to wear a seatbelt unless the operator is younger than 18. All passengers younger than 18 years old are required to wear seatbelts, even passengers who are sitting in the rear seat of a vehicle. The current seatbelt fine for persons 16 to 18 years old is $120.
An operator transporting any passengers who are under 16 is responsible for ensuring that their passengers are properly seatbelted, as the operator is cited for any of these seatbelt violations.
Connecticut State law also requires children younger than 1 and less than 20 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat. This violation carries a $92 fine. Passengers older than 1 but less than 7 years old, and weigh less than 60 pounds, are required to be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat; this violation carries a $92 fine. Once a child is older than 7 years old and weighs more than 60 pounds, the child can be seatbelted in a regular passenger seat.
The No. 1 cause of death for children and teens in the United States is traffic crashes. Statistics show an average of one fatality every 14 minutes and one injury every 13 seconds due to car crashes. Statistics also show vehicle passengers have a 77 percent chance of surviving a fatal car crash if they are properly seatbelted. The current seatbelt usage rate in Connecticut is 88 percent; the national average for seatbelt usage is 84 percent.