As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday, the Herkimer, Ilion and Little Falls police departments, as well as the Herkimer County Sheriff’s Department and law enforcement agencies across the state, urge everyone to buckle up.
Beginning May 20, law enforcement will be out in force, taking part in the 2013 Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign and cracking down on motorists who are not belted.
The goal of the zero-tolerance program is to urge motorists to increase seatbelt and child passenger safety seat compliance and as a result, reduce the number of personal injury and fatal motor vehicle crashes. Law enforcement officers will be engaged in seatbelt checkpoints and saturation patrols throughout the campaign.
“As we kick-off the busy summer driving season it’s important everyone buckles up every time they go out, day and night - no excuses,” said Herkimer Police Chief Joseph Malone. “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing their seat belt.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing their seat belt at the time of the crash. As noted, deaths involving seat belt nonuse are more prevalent at night than during the daytime. According to the NHTSA, 62 percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 during the overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of getting in a crash is even greater,” said Malone. “We want everyone to have a safe summer, but it requires an important step on the part of motorists - clicking that seat belt.”
In 2011, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives nationwide according to the NHTSA.
While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 20 through June 2, officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee has provided funding to the Herkimer, Ilion and Little Falls police departments, along with other law enforcement agencies, to enable the departments to schedule dedicated police patrols focusing on seatbelt and child passenger safety seat compliance.
For more information on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, visit www.nhtsa.gov.