As Summer Approaches, State and Local Police Urge Motorists to Buckle Up
With the onset of warm weather and summer road trips, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), the Massachusetts State Police, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and local police gathered May 21 at the Lexington rest stop on Route 128 North to highlight the Spring 2009 Click it or Ticket Mobilization, a statewide effort to increase seatbelt use.
State Police and local police departments across the state have issued zero-tolerance enforcement policies on ticketing for seat belt violations. A federal grant provided to State Police and local departments through the Office of Public Safety has funded hundreds of extra patrols on Massachusetts roadways.
"Safety belts are your best defense against other drivers and the best chance for survival in a crash, and everyone should be buckled up" said Lt. Colonel Robert G. Smith (pictured at podium), commander of the Massachusetts State Police Division of Field Services. "If you are pulled over and are not wearing your safety belt, or one of your passengers is unbelted, you will be ticketed."
In Massachusetts driving or riding without a properly secured seat belt is an offense, punishable with a $25 fine for the driver and for each passenger not properly restrained.
In 2007, according to the NHTSA, more than 14,000 people died in passenger vehicles crashes while unbelted. When worn correctly, safety belts have proven to reduce the risk of a fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent" and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans.
"In the few seconds it takes to buckle a safety belt, people make a life saving choice that can protect against serious consequences whether you're in a crash or not,"said Sheila Burgess, Director of Highway Safety for EOPSS." On behalf of the Patrick-Murray administration we are proud to support the State and local police in their efforts to enforce safety belt use and increase the safety of Massachusetts roadways"
For the Click it or Ticket mobilization, the EOPSS has provided $494,000 in federal highway safety funds to the Massachusetts State Police and local police for additional patrol hours.