PennDOT, PA, NY State Police Launch Joint Seat-belt Enforcement Operation

May 21, 2013

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police held a news conference today at the PennDOT Welcome Center on U.S. Route 15 in Tioga County to launch a “Border to Border” seat-belt enforcement effort as part of a national “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

Border to Border is an initiative created to crack down on unbelted driving across state boundaries. The partnership includes; Pennsylvania and New-York law enforcement agencies, PennDOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“As the start of the summer travel season approaches, I strongly encourage everyone to buckle up every time, no matter how far you’re traveling,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said in a statewide announcement. “The majority of crashes happen within 25 miles from home, and you are 60 percent more likely to survive a crash if you’re buckled up.”
Unbelted occupants who are thrown from the vehicle are 25 times more likely to be killed in a crash.

“Every year I investigate or review crash reports where vehicles roll over on our highways and back roads,” Pennsylvania State Police Troop F, Montoursville, Lieutenant Todd M. Weltmer said. “Many times unbelted occupants are ejected from the vehicle and suffer major injuries or death. In the same vehicle, occupants that are belted often times walk away from the crash. That is why I cite drivers every time for seat belt violations, because we (the police) care.”

Pennsylvania’s primary seat-belt law requires drivers and passengers under 18 years old to buckle up. In addition, drivers and front-seat passengers 18 years or older are also required as a secondary law, in which if they are stopped for a traffic violation and are not wearing their seat belt, they can receive a second ticket and second fine.

PennDOT data shows that of the 1,310 total traffic fatalities in 2012, 503 of them were unrestrained.

Funding for Pennsylvania’s enforcement effort comes from part of PennDOT’s statewide distribution of $1.7 million in federal funds from NHTSA.

Visit www.JustDrivePA.com for more information on seat-belt safety and PennDOT’s other traffic-safety initiatives.