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Extra patrols starting May 23 will emphasize seat belt safety

State trooper shows you how seat belts save kids’ lives

B.D. Thompson of the Washington State Patrol demonstrates the "Kid-A-Pult," which shows how kids without seat belts can be injured in a car wreck. In Washington, the minimum fine for not securing a child in a car seat is $475.
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B.D. Thompson of the Washington State Patrol demonstrates the "Kid-A-Pult," which shows how kids without seat belts can be injured in a car wreck. In Washington, the minimum fine for not securing a child in a car seat is $475.

Many Whatcom County law enforcement agencies will increase patrols from Monday, May 23, to Sunday, June 5, as part of a national movement to promote seat belt safety.

Police departments in Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson and at Western Washington University, as well as the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, will participate in Click It or Ticket. The two-week campaign, organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, encourages drivers and passengers to buckle up for every trip.

The Whatcom County Target Zero Task Force is helping to coordinate the extra patrols. Target Zero is the state Department of Transportation’s plan to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

A Washington Traffic Safety Commission survey taken last year found 95 percent of Washington residents wear seat belts. Still, each year, about 100 people who were not wearing seat belts die in crashes, the commission said.

A seat belt ticket is $136.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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