Ticket total still awful

It is always astonishing when Maui police conduct a program like their recent “Click It or Ticket” campaign and issue hundreds of citations.

In the two-week period between May 20 and June 2, police issued 487 seat belt and child restraint violations, a Maui News story reported. Police were pleased that the number was down from 587 citations in a similar period last year.

The numbers are still appalling. What are people thinking? They’d rather pay a $92 fine than endure the safety a seat belt provides?

The enforcement period camethe same day Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a law that requires back-seat passengers to buckle their belts, too. During the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, officers just gave warnings to back-seat offenders.

Frankly, we’re not sure why the law still allows people 13 and older to ride in the beds of pickup trucks. The lack of protection is obviously a lot more dangerous in a pickup bed than riding in a back seat unbuckled. Yet, our Legislature deigned not to address the issue.

In the meantime, we’d salute our police for making another valiant attempt to make people protect themselves. Some folks think “Click It or Ticket” campaigns are just great big fundraisers for government but we’d maintain that the reduced number of citations shows some people are getting the message.

And, besides, if you don’t feel like participating in these particular government fundraisers, there’s a simple solution: Buckle your seat belt.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.