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For Immediate Release: June 15, 2012

THRUWAY AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES MORE THAN 12,600 MOTORISTS TICKETED DURING “BUCKLE UP NEW YORK” CAMPAIGN 

The New York State Thruway Authority today announced that 12,692 tickets were issued by the State Police to motorists for seatbelt violations throughout the 14-day statewide “Buckle Up New York” campaign. The campaign was held May 21 through June 3, when State Police joined approximately 400 local law enforcement units from across New York to focus on enforcing the state’s seatbelt law.

New York State’s seatbelt law is a primary law, meaning a police officer may stop a driver simply if he or she, or their passengers, are not wearing a seatbelt. Front seat passengers 16 and older may be fined up to $50 if they do not wear their seatbelt. Drivers may be fined up to $100 for each passenger under that age of 16 who is not properly restrained in their vehicles. The driver will also receive three violation points on his or her Department of Motor Vehicles record.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, buckling up saves lives; and seatbelts are the most effective safety feature ever invented.

State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, “Drivers and passengers who do not wear their seat belts put themselves directly in harm’s way. With more than 12,000 tickets issued, Buckle Up New York was a clear success in enforcing this important law. Our message is very clear; it’s click it or ticket—seatbelts save lives.”

Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Barbara J. Fiala said, “As shown by the amount of tickets issued over this two week enforcement campaign, it is clear that too many motorists are still not wearing their seat belts. Buckling up is the easiest way to prevent injuries and fatalities should your vehicle become involved in a crash. Motorists need to remember to buckle up every trip, every time.”

Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison said “Each year, more than one million people are killed worldwide in traffic accidents. It’s a fact: Seatbelts save lives. The Thruway Authority will continue to drive home this message.”

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee funds Buckle Up New York campaigns through a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The grant enables the State Police to focus patrol resources on violations of the state’s seatbelt law and supplements conventional traffic safety and enforcement efforts. The State Police have operated Buckle Up New York campaigns for the past eight years with two enforcement periods each year. During this year’s campaign, 12,692 seat belt violations were issued by the State Police, including 824 for child restraint violations.

In 2011 overall, 306,693 tickets, including 80,697 by State Police were issue to motorists who violated the state seatbelt law.

Additional driver safety tips and information are available on the Thruway Authority’s website at http://www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/safety/drivingsafetytips.html and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee website at http://www.safetny.ny.gov/ .

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