More Californians are buckling up in cars

The message is definitely getting through as Californians are buckling up more than ever before. The State Office of Traffic Safety says 96.6 percent of Californians make it a habit to wear seatbelts.

That's up from 90 percent a decade ago, and among the highest rates in the country. Part of the credit goes to a crackdown known as "Click It Or Ticket." Not wearing a belt means facing a huge fine.

"They're going to get a ticket a minimum amount of $142, likely more than that and that's just for the first time. If there's somebody under the age of 16 that isn't properly restrained, it's going to be $472 minimum," said Chris Cochran, a spokesman from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Officials say if you don't buckle up, you have a 50-percent greater chance of serious injury in a crash and you're 35 times more likely to die, if you're thrown from the car.

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