State tells drivers to buckle up

As motorists gear up for Memorial Day weekend road trips, they are being reminded to buckle up by local and state law enforcement officials.

A statewide Buckle Up: Click it or Ticket campaign kicked off in the Capital District Wednesday, May 14, with a press conference at the Capitol announcing that police will be on the lookout for un-belted drivers between May 19 and June 1.

Police around the state will be adding patrols looking for drivers without seat belts or improperly restrained children inside of vehicles. The west lawn of the Capitol building was filled with law enforcement vehicles, and there was also an inflated 30-foot gorilla wearing a seat belt.

Staff at the event handed out various promotional and informational materials to hundreds of people during the busy lunch hour. The press conference focused on the dangers of not wearing a seat belt and the number of lives saved each year by buckling up.

Municipal police departments in Troy, Albany, Colonie and Bethlehem, and the Albany County Sheriff's Department, as well as New York State Police, were all on hand to tell people they will be on the lookout for seat belts over the next two weeks.

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner David J. Swarts, Chief of Staff David Kelly of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and New York State Police Superintendent Harry J. Corbitt all reminded drivers and passengers to wear their seat belts.

"Wearing a seat belt is a simple thing motorists can do to help protect themselves in the event of a crash. Law enforcement, community leaders and traffic safety advocates across the state have worked hard to increase safety belt compliance and we should all be proud of their success. But more can be done," said Swarts. "Every life counts, that's why it is imperative that we continue to raise the safety belt compliance rate. The statistics prove that as seat belt usage increases, more lives are saved."

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