HARRISBURG, Pa., May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PennDOT will partner with more than 600 law enforcement agencies and the Pennsylvania State Police to participate in a national "Click It or Ticket" seat-belt enforcement effort from today, May 20, through June 9.
The effort will focus largely on nighttime enforcement, using traffic safety checkpoints and roving patrols. Police will also use Traffic Enforcement Zones, which combine roving patrol and checkpoint tactics on roadways with high numbers of unbuckled crashes.
"As the start of the summer travel season approaches, I strongly encourage everyone to buckle up every time, no matter how far you're traveling," PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. "The majority of crashes happen within 25 miles from home, and you are 60 percent more likely to survive a crash if you're buckled up."
According to PennDOT data, 503 people died last year in unbelted crashes, a decrease from 509 such fatalities in 2011. The total number of crashes in which people were not wearing seat belts also decreased to 15,528, compared to 16,298 in 2011.
The majority of enforcement will occur at night, as 275 unbuckled fatalities occurred last year between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. Of those, 170 occurred between 10 p.m. and 2:59 a.m.
"With heavy traffic expected for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, it's crucial that we encourage drivers now to make sure that all passengers are properly restrained whenever they travel," State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said. "I'm again directing our troopers to adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward violations of the state's seat belt and child passenger restraint laws during this campaign period."
Motorists are reminded that Pennsylvania's primary seat-belt law requires drivers and passengers under 18 years old to buckle up, and children under the age of four must be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children ages 4 to 8 must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat. In addition, children ages 8 to 18 must be must be in a seat belt when riding anywhere in the vehicle.
Also, drivers and front-seat passengers 18 years-old or older are required to buckle up. If motorists are stopped for a traffic violation and are not wearing their seat belt, they can receive a second ticket and second fine.
Funding for this enforcement effort comes from part of PennDOT's statewide distribution of $1.7 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Visit www.JustDrivePA.com for more information on seat-belt safety and PennDOT's other traffic-safety initiatives.
Media contact: Erin Waters-Trasatt or Ashley Schoch, 717-783-8800
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Transportation