Those pesky local and state police are at it again. They are on a two-week campaign to save lives now and in the future. Their method is as sure as it is simple: They are trying to get every driver and passenger to buckle up.
The Buckle Up New York campaign is an extra effort to crack down on drivers and passengers who do not wear seatbelts. .
State police and local law-enforcement agencies are staging checkpoints over the next two weeks to make sure motorists and passengers are obeying the seatbelt laws.
People riding in the front seat who are age 16 and older can be fined up to $50 if they do not wear their seatbelt. Drivers face a fine of $100 for each passenger younger than 16 who is not properly restrained in the vehicle and three violation points on his Department of Motor Vehicles record.
"Buckling up is the easiest way to prevent injuries and fatalities should your vehicle become involved in a crash. Yet, we know too many motorists are still not wearing their seatbelts,'' says Barbara J. Fiala, Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner.
Buckling up indeed saves lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent.
"For the next two weeks, troopers, deputies and police officers statewide will be conducting checkpoints to ensure that motorists and passengers are obeying the seatbelt laws. Our message is very clear: it's click it or ticket - seatbelts save lives," says State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico.
The state's campaign will remind people in a very firm way to put that message across.