Extra nighttime seat belt patrols begin Monday - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Extra nighttime seat belt patrols begin Monday

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YAKIMA, Wash. – Law enforcement agencies across the Valley will have extra patrols at night beginning Monday checking to see if drivers are buckled up.

New research shows people behind the wheel at night with their seat belt off are twice as likely to have criminal records with violent offenses compared to those who drive with it on during the day.

The extra patrols will include Yakima and Sunnyside Police, the Yakima County Sheriff's Office, and Washington State Patrol. They will last two weeks.

Data out for years also shows the number of traffic-related deaths at night is four times higher.

Medical bill usually total $11,000 more for someone driving unbuckled than with someone who had a seat belt on, according to Harborview's Injury Prevention and Research Center in Seattle.

The fine remains a $124 ticket for anyone who does not click it, law enforcement officials say.

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