Back seat passengers will soon be required to buckle up

Seat Belt

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The Click-It-Or-Ticket law is about to get tougher.

Soon everyone riding in a car will have to buckle up.

That’s because Governor Abercrombie is expected to sign that into law.

There was some confusion over who would pay the $92 fine but ultimately the prosecutors office clarified and said the driver would be held responsible for everyone in their car.

“The data is simply overwhelming, if lives are to be saved clearly buckling up is part of that effort,” said Sen. Clayton Hee, Judiciary Chair.

That is why Senator Clayton Hee introduced this bill requiring everyone to be buckled up while riding in the backseat of a vehicle.

“Over half of the fatalities are not buckled up and 75% in the backseat that were not buckled up,” he explained.

The state Department of Transportation and the Department of Health both strong advocates for this bill -said a recent study showed that an unrestrained back seat passenger is 12 times more likely to have a fatal injury than someone who is restrained.

“We know backseat passengers have less protection than front seat passengers if they get in a crash, because they generally don’t have the benefit of air bags,” said Dr. Dan Galanis, with the Department of Health’s Injury Prevention Program.

And who is responsible to make sure everyone is buckled up- the driver.

“You gotta be on it and tell everybody to buckle up. To me it’s not a shocker that you will be responsible for people not wearing a seat belt in your vehicle,” said Candice Kahue-Antoine.

Others agree safety is important, but believe adults should be responsible for their own decisions, rather than have it legislated.

“You’re old enough to decide and old enough to know what the consequences would be,” said Morris Kumura, Kaneohe resident.

The Governor is expected to sign this bill into law by the end of the month in conjunction with the Click it Or ticket campaign kick off- a month long sting operation where officers across the state will be keeping a close eye on who is buckling up.

“It’ll keep them busy, just when they do the front seat ones they do intersections they get quite a lot of people,” said Kumura.

“Ultimately, what is a click that’s all it is. You got to be as safe as you can once you hop in a car,” said Kahue-Antoine.

A law is already on the books requiring anyone under 18 years old to be buckled up while riding in the back seat.

This new law would expand it to include all ages.

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