State Police Troop G buckle-up-blitz under way

New York State Police Troop G is holding a Buckle Up New York campaign now through Saturday, June 3.

The campaign is part of the state's "zero tolerance" seat belt enforcement blitz that will combine the efforts of more than 500 police agencies statewide.

Troopers, deputies and local police across the state will staff safety restraint checkpoints and dedicated patrols in the ongoing "Click it or Ticket -- Buckle Up New York" campaign.

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is considered the unofficial opening of the summer travel season.

"Buckling up clearly saves lives, and if you don't, you will be ticketed," said Major Patricia M. Groeber, Troop G commander. "Unfortunately, too many New Yorkers still need a reminder, and we're going to provide it."

Recent statistics indicate that roughly 15 percent of motorists in New York still fail to wear safety restraints, and police believe the number is higher during nighttime hours.

"It's tragic and unnecessary, but someone we know will likely die or be unnecessarily injured for failing to take one simple step: buckling up," Groeber said. "It really is a matter of life and death."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), highway crashes killed 33,329 motor vehicle occupants during 2006 and more than 55 percent of those victims were not wearing their safety restraints. Crashes also kill more children between the ages of 2 and 14 than any other cause.

Last year during Buckle Up America Week, which included the Memorial Day holiday weekend, state police investigated six fatal crashes in New York that claimed nine lives. Authorities believe four of those killed would likely be alive today if they had been wearing seatbelts. During that same period, troopers issued 10,695 safety restraint citations, including 293 for child seat violations.

Law enforcement agencies in New York initiated the Buckle Up New York campaign in 1999. Highway safety advocates said they hope New York will ultimately surpass the 90 percent mark for seat belt use. ""

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