With the Memorial Day weekend fast approaching – and an estimated 38 million Americans about to hit the road and the airports – police are ramping up enforcement of seat belt laws.
The National Click It or Ticket mobilization started Monday, May 23, and will continue through Sunday, June 5, New York state police said.
“Occupant safety is a year-round traffic priority" for state police, said Captain Thomas H. Jones of Troop K, which is based in Poughkeepsie.
"Troopers will be focusing on educating the public about the importance of utilizing a seat belt and enforcement the law during this Click it or Ticket campaign,” Jones added.
Troopers are prepared to ticket anyone not wearing a seat belt, including drivers who have not properly buckled up their children.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9,385 people killed in 2014 vehicle accidents were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
Statistically, unbelted fatalities are more common at night than during the day, police said.
Fifty-eight percent of those killed in 2014 crashes between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. weren’t buckled in.
In 2014, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 12,802 lives, police said.
From 2010 to 2014, seat belts saved an estimated 63,000 lives.
"Our Troopers see first-hand the injuries suffered by those who don't buckle up when they climb into a vehicle," said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico.
Taking "just a few seconds to buckle up could be a life-saving decision," D'Amico added.
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