Law enforcement agencies, including the Modesto and Turlock police departments, are looking for drivers and passengers who aren't wearing seat belts as part of a two-week enforcement effort across the state.
The Click It or Ticket campaign started this week and ends June 6. Violators will receive citations, not warnings. This year, authorities said, fines and fees have increased from $132 to $142 for first-time adult seat-belt violations. For children under 16, the fine is $445 for a first-time offense.
California has a seat-belt use rate of 95.3 percent, but that means more than a half-million people are not buckling up, according to the state Office of Traffic Safety.
Properly restrained drivers, passengers and children have a 50 percent better chance of surviving a crash than unbelted occupants. Those ejected from vehicles in crashes or rollovers are up to 35 times more likely to die than restrained occupants.
The enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety.