1,617 violation tickets issued during "Buckle Up New York" campaign

By WKTV News

During the two-week "Buckle Up New York" enforcement initiative, New York State Police say they issued 1,617 tickets for violations of the the state's seatbelt laws, including 84 tickets to operators with children who were not restrained.

The initiative ran from May 21 - June 3, 2012, during which troopers joined with local police and sheriffs' departments statewide to increase seatbelt use in anticipation of the summer travel season.

The initiative has been conducted each Memorial Day since 1999. Officials say that prior to the campaign, fewer than 75% of New York State motorists were using safety belts. The continual enforcement and education efforts have steadily increased belt use to more than 90% today, State Police stated.

"The number of arrests made during this initiative indicates that there are still too many individuals who have not made the connection between wearing seatbelts and saving lives. It's a decision which makes absolutely no sense and we will continue to aggressively enforce all passenger restraint laws until total compliance is achieved," said Major Kevin G. Molinari, NYS Police Troop C Commander.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that seatbelts alone reduce the risk of fatal injuries by 45% for front seat passenger car occupants - and by 60% for pickup truck, SUV, and van occupants.

According to Molinari, Troopers focused much of their efforts this year on nighttime seatbelt use, in an attempt to ensure that motorists were buckled up day and night.

In addition to the 1,617 seatbelt tickets issued, troopers made 34 DWI arrests and ticketed 561 drivers for speeding during the two-week period.

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