It has become a common message during busy holiday travel times.  "Click it, or ticket."  That means buckle up your seat belt or face a stiff penalty.

Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year.  Yes, even during the pandemic.  And with all those vehicles on the road this coming weekend, state police officials will also be out in force.  The campaign will run from May 24 through June 6, 2021 to promote seat belt use with all drivers.

To kick off the safety promotion, the Governors Traffic and Safety Commission (GTSC) held a press conference to announce the details of "Click It or Ticket."  This year's New York State safety campaign will once again partner with NASCAR Truck Series Driver Ross Chastain and Spire Sports. Chastain visited New York high schools last week to promote seat belt use and the ongoing “Protect Your Melon” campaign. Chastain, an eighth-generation watermelon farmer, will also sport the Protect Your Melon logo on his uniform and race truck.

Drivers are warned that New York State Police and local law-enforcement agencies throughout the state will utilize both marked and unmarked vehicles during the seat belt safety crackdown.  Check points may also pop up on local highways.

“Seat belts save lives, and by expanding the seat belt law to include rear-seat passengers, New York State is able to save even more lives,” said Mark J.F. Schroeder, Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and GTSC Chair. “We want to make sure everyone understands the law and more importantly, knows the risks of not wearing a seat belt. Our Buckle Up New York campaign helps us do that. It is not about writing tickets; it is about educating the public that wearing a seat belt is necessary for your safety and the safety of others.”

New York State has a long history of aggressively promoting driver seat belt use.  The state was the first state in the United States to pass legislation requiring seat belt use for drivers and front seat passengers.  The first seat belt law in the nation was signed into law in 1984 in Albany.

For more information about traffic safety in New York State, visit the GTSC website at https://trafficsafety.ny.gov/.

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