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County Police Issue Over 200 Seat Belt Tickets

New York State Police began a zero tolerance "Buckle Up New York" campaign, also known as "Click It Or Ticket," last week in an effort to ensure drivers and their front seat passengers secure their seat belts. The Westchester County Department of Public Safety has already issued more than 200 summonses since the campaign began.

Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth said officers will continue to enforce the strict policies for the remainder of the week.

"Seat belts save lives," Longworth said. "The goal of the increased enforcement is to keep people safe and ensure compliance with the law."

Police have patrolled the Bronx River, Saw Mill, Cross County and Hutchinson River parkways. They set up checkpoints on Route 9A in Mount Pleasant and the town of Ossining, as well as Route 6 in Cortlandt and the Cross County Parkway in Yonkers.

Maria Ruales, a resident of Harrison who runs Gabriella's Jewelry on Harrison Avenue, said she has noticed the increased police presence and supports it.

"They should do that because people are reckless," Ruales said. "Not everyone is a safe driver."

Officers have issued 218 seat belt summonses in the county so far and 72 summonses for other violations they discovered while they tried to enforce the seat belt law.

Eight of those additional 72 summonses went to drivers who failed to properly secure child seats in their cars.

New York State law says that all riders in the front seat of cars must wear a seat belt. All passengers in the rear of the car under the age of 16 must either wear a seat belt or the driver must secure them in a car seat.

Drivers and passengers in the front could face $50 in fines for breaking this law, while drivers who do not properly secure children could owe up to $100 and earn three points on their license.

What do you think of the increased emphasis on seat belt laws? Has it made you more aware of the issue, or is it just a nuisance? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter @DailyPelham .

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