As North Country motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day weekend, state police will be out in force cracking down on motorists not using seatbelts.
Troopers will be taking part in the 2013 national “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement mobilization and ticketing motorists who are not belted.
“As we kick-off the busy summer driving season, it’s important that everyone buckles up every time they go out, both day and night – no excuses,” said Major Richard C. Smith Jr., Troop B Commander. “Our Troopers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing a seatbelt – Click It or Ticket.”
The crackdown started Monday and continues through June 2.
Law enforcement agencies that share state borders will team up to provide increased seatbelt enforcement at border sites, sending a “zero tolerance” message to the public: Driving or riding unbuckled will result in a ticket, no matter what State.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. Deaths involving seatbelt non-use are more prevalent at night than during the daytime, police say.
According to NHTSA, 62 percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 during the overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.
Locally, in 2011, State Police in Troop “B” investigated a total of 28 fatal crashes, 12 of which involved unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants. Troop B includes St. Lawrence County.
“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of getting in a crash is even greater,” said Major Smith. “We want everyone to have a safe summer, but it requires an important step on the part of motorists – clicking that seatbelt.”
In 2011, seatbelts saved an estimated 11,949 lives nationwide, according to NHTSA. For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, visit www.nhtsa.gov.