Palo Alto police are on the lookout for motorists and passengers driving without a seatbelt.
Scofflaws face extra scrutiny in August and September as part of a statewide "Click It or Ticket" campaign that has been ongoing during 2010.
Seat belt usage in 2009 was 95.2 percent, which still leaves more than a million "unclicked" Californians vulnerable to serious injury and death, according to Palo Alto police Chief Dennis Burns.
More than 1,389 people in passenger vehicles died in crashes while unbelted in 2008, he noted. About half of these lives could have been saved if they had been wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, according to highway safety estimates.
"Seat belts save lives and law enforcement will stop and cite those driving or riding without seat belts in vehicles. ... Officers will not give a pass on this critically important safety requirement, so please buckle up and protect your passengers by ensuring they fasten their seat belts or use the proper child-restraint system," Burns said.
Officers will be out day and night assuring that everyone is safely buckled in, he said. Teens will be a particular focus, he said, because their usage rate lags behind adults, but they are disproportionately involved in more crashes.