HARRISBURG, Pa., May 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PennDOT, state and local police are partnering for nationwide "Click It or Ticket" seat-belt enforcement beginning today and running through June 7.
To kick off the enforcement, Pennsylvania is one of 16 states and Ontario, Canada, that will participate in a Border-to-Border seat-belt initiative tonight. The enforcement involves more than 500 state and municipal law enforcement agencies across the eastern seaboard, conducting increased enforcement at state borders to emphasize police focus on seat belt usage.
Throughout the Click It or Ticket mobilization, enforcement will focus largely on nighttime operations, using Traffic Enforcement Zones and roving patrols on roadways identified as having higher unbelted crash rates.
"Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists are still driving unbuckled," said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. "PennDOT wants to make the roads as safe as possible, especially at night when crash risk increases. We urge the public to join us in this mission to decrease these crashes."
According to PennDOT data, unrestrained fatalities dropped from 425 in 2013 to 383 in 2014. The statewide number of crashes in which people were not wearing seat belts also decreased to 13,627, compared to 14,436 in 2013.
"While the number of unbuckled fatalities has decreased from last year, there was still a significant number of heartbreaking cases reported," said Acting State Police Commissioner Marcus L. Brown. "In so many of these instances, the victims may have survived if they had been properly restrained – seat belts are the most effective means of reducing fatalities or serious injury."
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. Join the discussion on social media by using #JustBuckleUp
MEDIA CONTACT: Ashley Schoch 717-783-8800 or Maria Finn 717-783-5556
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; Pennsylvania State Police