lightbar of an emergency police car

Did you know California has a "primary seat belt law?"

That means you can be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt without committing another traffic violation.

Manhattan Beach Police are stepping up seat belt enforcement from May 20 to June 2, just in time for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Officers will be on patrol looking for drivers, passengers who are not buckled up, including children not secured in child safety seats. The enforcement is part of the National Click It or Ticket Campaign focused on increasing seat belt use to help keep drivers and passengers safe.

According to MBPD, 532 people killed in crashes in California last year were not wearing a seat belt, despite the state having one of the highest seat belt use rates in the nation at  96.2%.

The fine for a seat belt violation is $162. For failing to secure a child, the fine is $490.

Under California law, children under two years old, 40 pounds and 40 inches are required be in a rear-facing car seat. Children under the age of eight must be secured in a car or booster seat.

Contact Lisa Jacobs or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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