From now until June 5, State Troopers will be implementing a zero tolerance program, ticketing any motorist who is not properly buckled up.
New York State law requires all front seat occupants, no matter what age, to wear seat belts. Back seat occupants under the age of 16 must also be buckled up. Although the law does not mandate it, a back seat occupant of any age is encouraged to wear a seat belt.
The goal, of course, is “to increase traffic safety,” explained Trooper Tom Libretti of the Somers State Police Department. During last year’s Buckle Up initiative, nearly 18,000 tickets were issued on the New York State Thruway alone.
Somers State Police Sergeant Hennigan reminds motorists that “the objective of the program is not to issue tickets. The objective is to increase seat belt awareness.” The State Police are simply “trying to educate motorists” in order to “reduce deaths and injuries that result from motor vehicle accidents.”
Police are currently stopping motorists on I-684 and on less trafficked roads in North Salem and Somers. They may also set up check points.
Fines for not using a seat belt can be as high as $100, although the final amount is up to the presiding judge. Drivers with improperly secured children can receive as many as three points on their drivers’ licenses, in addition to the fines.
So remember, New York, the slogan may be “Click It -- or Ticket” but the goal is to save lives!