Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia urges drivers to buckle up during the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort. The national seat belt campaign coincides with the Memorial Day holiday and runs from May 22 to June 4, 2023.
“I want seat belt use to be an automatic habit for drivers and passengers alike,” said Sheriff Garcia. “It’s not just a safe thing to do — it’s the law. During the Click It or Ticket campaign, deputies with the Traffic Unit will be patrolling Erie County to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers. Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash.”
According to NHTSA, in 2021, 11,813 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes in the United States. That same year, 57% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing seat belts. That’s why the Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will take a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.
In New York, every occupant must wear a seat belt regardless of age or seat position. Penalties for a seat belt violation are as follows:
• Occupants over 16 years old: $50/ unrestrained occupant;
• A driver can receive a fine of $25 to $100 and 3 points on their license for each passenger under 16 years old
NHTSA data shows that seat belt use is higher among females than males. Nearly twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females in 2021. Of the males killed in crashes during that same year, more than half (54%) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 42% were not buckled up.
“If the Erie County Sheriff’s enforcement efforts alert people to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission a success,” said Sheriff Garcia. “If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up.”
For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit NHTSA.gov/ciot.
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