The Ithaca Police Department will join hundreds of other agencies across New York State and beyond in a seat belt enforcement campaign for the next two weeks. Officers participating in the "Click It or Ticket" campaign will be specifically looking for seat belt violations.
Vermont State Police and New York State Police troopers at a press conference at the Essex Ferry Port. Photo courtesy of NYSP.IPD's extra patrols are being funded through the New York State Police Traffic Services Grant, and the additional duty shifts will not come out of the City of Ithaca's budget. Troop B of the New York State Police held a joint press conference today with members of the Vermont State Police to kick off the "Buckle Up New York" campaign in conjunction with neighboring states.
"Wearing a seat belt just may save your life," says IPD Chief John Barber. "If you are driving or riding in a motor vehicle without your seat belt on, you are taking your life into your own hands."
Seat belts can protect other people, as well, both in your car and in the cars around you. "In a crash, a safety belt keeps the driver in place behind the steering wheel and in control of the vehicle," says the U.S. Department of Transportation, "thereby avoiding or reducing the consequences of a crash and minimizing the chance of serious injury or death."
Under New York State law, the driver and any front seat passengers must each wear a seat belt, one person per belt. The driver, and passengers 16 years of age or older, can be fined $50 for failure to wear a properly secured seat belt. Passengers under 16 must wear a seat belt or use an appropriate child safety seat or restraint, and a driver may be fined up to $100 if under-age passengers are not properly buckled up.
The Click It or Ticket campaign includes the Memorial Day holiday weekend, and runs through June 2nd. AAA Travel predicts 36.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend. It's an estimated 1.5 percent increase over last year, and would be a new post-recession high.