New Yorkers should be extra mindful to wear their seatbelts. Starting Monday, May 20, State Troopers and local police precincts will be participating in the “Buckle Up New York, Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign.
The statewide campaign runs from May 20 to June 2. Organized by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the initiative raises awareness about the importance of wearing seatbelts. It will also overlap with the STOP-DWI Impaired Driving Crackdown (May 24-28).
As with many enforcement campaigns, New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies will increase the presence of marked and unmarked vehicles, as well as set up checkpoints and roving details to patrol for unbelted drivers and front-seat passengers. Law enforcement will also make sure children are properly restrained.
In 1984, New York became the first state in the nation to ticket drivers and for not buckling up. Five years later, the state began its first “Click it or Ticket” campaign. This year’s blitz marks the 20th anniversary of the campaign. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), New York’s seat belt compliance rate has consistently remained at or above 90 percent since 2010. Albany has the highest compliance rate, with 97% drivers buckling up. Nationwide, an estimated 14,955 lives were saved in 2017 thanks to seatbelt use, according to National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.
New York State law specifically states that all front-seat occupants regardless of age must wear a seatbelt. In addition, rear-seat passengers under the age of 16 must also buckle up. All children ages 7 and under must be properly restrained in an appropriate child or infant restraint system that meets the child’s height and weight recommendations.
Drivers who do not wear a seatbelt face a $50 ticket, plus a mandatory state surcharge of $88 or $93, depending on where the ticket was issued. An unbuckled or improperly secure child can result in a ticket of up to $100 (plus the surcharge) and 3 points on one’s license.
In addition to watching for seatbelt violations, police will also be mindful of other common traffic violations, including speeding, cell phone violations, and more. Driver’s can be initially pulled over for a seatbelt violation and issued tickets for that violation plus other violations they may have committed at the same time.
Paying a traffic ticket of any kind, including a no-point seatbelt ticket, can result in an increase in auto insurance rates. In addition, the points associated with a child restraint violation can lead to additional fines and a risk of a license suspension. If you or someone you know has been issued a traffic ticket in New York, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney before responding to it. The lawyers of Rosenblum Law are experienced traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-883-5529 for a free consultation.