“Click it or ticket;” the eye-roll inducing phrase that we’ve all heard before. On the one hand, it only makes sense to wear a seat belt when you’re riding in a steel and iron juggernaut, hurtling down the road at break-neck speed. On the other hand, it’s the individual’s life that’s in question; shouldn’t they have the right to wear their seat belt, or not, if they so choose?

Not according to the Long Beach police, who will be cracking down on drivers and passengers who are observed to be sans seat-belt in their cars. According to those who study such things, 97.4% of motorists choose to wear their seat belts when riding or driving in a car. However, those who choose not to stand a 50% greater chance of being injured or killed if a collision occurs.

When ticketed for not wearing a seat belt, motorists over the age of 16 will receive a $161 fine for their first offense. However, should any children under the age of 16 be in the car without their seat belt, the parents (or whoever is driving the car) will receive a fine in the amount of $490 per child who is unbuckled. Suffice it to say, it’s worth taking the extra few seconds to put on your seat belt.

South Bay motorists should be aware that the crackdown will continue through June 1st and will be implemented throughout the year.