Thanks to a state grant, Ithaca Police Department will have extra patrol officers on duty for the next two weeks as the City of Ithaca takes part in a statewide "Click It or Ticket" seatbelt enforcement campaign. Police officers in Ithaca will join New York State Troopers and other law enforcement agencies statewide in strictly enforcing seatbelt laws from May 21st through June 3rd.
Buckle-Me ElmoIn New York State, seatbelt violations are "primary law" violations, which means police may pull over vehicles simply for seatbelt violations. In the past, they were a secondary violation. Officers would issue seatbelt citations only if a driver had been pulled over for another reason.
In announcing the campaign last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "The evidence is clear. Seatbelts save lives. It only takes a few seconds to fasten a seatbelt or to secure a child's safety seat, and this campaign encourages all New Yorkers to take a moment to buckle up and save a life."
IPD sergeant Jacob A. Young says, "Ithaca Police Department is proud to be one of the hundreds of police agencies across the state involved in this Seatbelt Enforcement Campaign."
Drivers and front seat passengers 16 and over not wearing a seatbelt may receive a ticket carrying a fine of $50 and a state surcharge of $80. Drivers may receive a ticket carrying a $100 fine and $80 state surcharge, plus three points on their license, for each passenger under the age of 16 who isn't properly restrained.
During last May's Buckle Up New York campaign period, state troopers issued 19,636 seatbelt-related tickets. State police issued 80,697 seatbelt-related tickets throughout 2011, out of a total of 306,693 such tickets issued statewide by law enforcement agencies.