Local law enforcement commence safety belt blitz

Fairview, Gresham and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office will be on the lookout for people disobeying safety belt laws over the next few days.

Police will work overtime to participate in the “Click It or Ticket” blitz from now until Sunday, Feb. 23, said Sgt. John Pemberton, spokesman at Fairview Police.

Officers' blitz pay is funded through federal grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pemberton said.

The purpose of the program is to reduce the severity of crash injuries by promoting proper safety belt and child restraint use.

Oregon is at the top of the percentile when it comes to safety belt use. A statewide observation survey in June 2013 found 98 percent of Oregon's drivers use safety belts, Pemberton said, compared to a nationwide average of 82 percent.

Since the 1990 passage of Oregon's adult belt law, belt use has doubled from 50 to 98 percent.

Meanwhile, crash fatality and injury rates have dramatically decreased by 58 percent and 24 percent, respectively, Pemberton said.

Buckling up every time you get in a car is the single most effective way to protect people from being injured or killed in a crash, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Oregon law states that a child under 1 year of age or weighing less than 20 pounds must be restrained in a rear-facing child seat.

A child weighing less than 40 pounds must be properly restrained in a child safety seat.

A child over 40 pounds but under age 8 or less than 4 feet 9 inches tall must be restrained in either a child seat with harness system or in a booster seat that raises the child up so that a lap and shoulder belt system fits correctly, the law states.

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