WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – As Westchester County motorists get ready for Memorial Day holiday travel plans, local police are getting ready for you.
Beginning May 20, officers will be out in full force as part of the 2013 national “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement mobilization.
The program makes a priority of cracking down on drivers and passengers who are not wearing a seat belt.
“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 Bedford Police Lieutenant Melvin Padilla.
“Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing their seat belt.”
Starting Monday morning, all local police departments will be joining other law enforcement agencies throughout the northeast in mobilizing Click It or Ticket in a “Border to Border” operation. This means law enforcement agencies that share state border will team up to provide increased coverage, resulting in 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’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 52 percent of 21,253 vehicle passengers killed in 2011 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. According to the same report, deaths involving seat belt nonuse are more likely to occur at night than during the day and 62 percent of 10,135 passengers killed in overnight accidents during 2011 were also not wearing their seat belts.
“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 Padilla.
While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement will run from May 20 to June 2, officers are also enforcing seat belt laws on a year-round basis.
“We want everyone to have a safe summer,” said Padilla.