Joining forces with the nationwide Click It or Ticket Mobilization, the Rockville Centre Police Department will increase enforcement of the state’s safety belt laws from May 23 through June 5. Those who fail to buckle up will be issued a ticket that carries a fine of $110.
The goal of the enforcement program is to boost the state’s 85 percent safety belt use rate and reduce fatalities.
“Because we’ve seen first hand the severe injury and death that often result from not wearing a safety belt, we will be showing zero tolerance for anyone not buckled up," Rockville Centre Police Commissioner Chuck Gennario said. "Unless you want to risk a ticket – or worse, your life – remember to wear your belt. We want everyone on the road to remember to buckle up – every trip, every time."
The police department reminds residents that state Vehicle and Traffic Law requires seatbelts for all occupants eight and older. Seatbelts alone are not sufficient for children seven and under who must use an approved child restraint system. The driver is responsible for passengers under 16 who violate the law.
Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for ages 3 through 33 in the United States, Commissioner Gennario said. “Safety belt use saves lives and prevents injuries.”
Between 1975 and 2000, safety belts prevented 135,000 fatalities and 3.8 million injuries, saving $585 billion in medical and other costs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If all vehicle occupants had used safety belts during that period, nearly 315,000 deaths and 5.2 million injuries could have been prevented and $913 billion in costs saved, according to the agency.
More than 12,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will conduct safety belt checkpoints during the special enforcement period.
In the Village of Rockville Centre, law enforcement officers will be conducting high visibility checkpoints as well as increased patrols. State, county and local law enforcement officers will be involved in the stepped-up enforcement, which is being supported by advertisements encouraging all Americans to always buckle up.