The California Highway Patrol is warning Bay Area residents to buckle up when driving and that it will hold a statewide campaign Thursday to target drivers and passengers without seatbelts.
The "Vehicle Occupant Restraint Dy" will allow officers to work overtime, funded by a grant, to focus their attention specifically on people in cars without seatbelts, CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader said.
According to the CHP, more than 30 percent of the passengers killed in crashes in 2007 and 2008 were not wearing seatbelts.
"Seatbelts are you first line of defense against injuries or death," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a statement. "If you're not buckled up during a crash, you could be thrown through a window or even crushed by a vehicle."
Wearing a seatbelt can also help save money, Clader said. The cost of an adult seatbelt violation is $132, and up to $435 for not properly restraining a child under 16.
"The goal is to get motorists to buckle up, not just today, everyday," Farrow said of Thursday's enforcement campaign. "Make it a habit, anytime you and your passengers get in the car."
The grant to fund the campaign is being provided by the Office of Traffic and Safety.