PennDOT, PSP, Highway Safety Network focus on seat belt safety with “Click It or Ticket” mobilization

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – With Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer travel season, less than a week away, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and the Highway Safety Network (HSN) urge motorists to drive safely. The agencies are working with municipal police services and other security partners across the Commonwealth to participate in the nationwide “Click It or Ticket” (CIOT) mobilization which runs until June 5.

“Seat belts save lives,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Through continued enforcement and education, we hope to see more people buckle up and fewer fatalities on Pennsylvania roads.”

In 2021, there were 12,672 crashes in Pennsylvania where at least one occupant was not wearing a seatbelt, resulting in 378 fatalities.

In 2020, an estimated 94% of unrestrained occupants, or 305 people, who were killed in collisions while traveling in passenger vehicles, including cars, small trucks, vans and SUVs, could have survived if they had been tied down.

PSP data from 2021 indicated that over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, soldiers investigated 844 crashes that left eight dead and 183 injured. State police also cited 1,025 people for not wearing seat belts and issued 144 tickets for not securing children in safety seats.

As part of the law enforcement mobilization, state and local police, as well as law enforcement agencies across the United States, participated in a border-to-border initiative on May 23 to provide increased seat belt enforcement at state borders, reinforcing states’ focus on security.

Pennsylvania law requires any occupant under the age of 18 to fasten their seat belt while in a vehicle, as well as drivers and front seat passengers. Children under 2 must be secured in a rear-facing car seat and children under 4 must be secured in an approved child safety seat. Children must travel in a booster seat until their eighth birthday.

In addition to taking a zero-tolerance approach to violators, Soldiers certified as Child Passenger Safety Technicians will offer car seat fittings and inspections throughout Pennsylvania, helping to ensure that car seats cars are in good working order, properly installed and free of recalls.

“State Police Child Passenger Safety Technicians are extensively trained and available to assist you,” said Maj. Jeremy Richard, acting PSP Deputy Commissioner of Operations. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of this free resource to help keep their youngest passengers safe while traveling.”

A complete list of child seat installation stations is available at psp.pa.gov.

Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Liaisons (LEL), a grant-funded program administered by the Highway Safety Network (HSN), is a vital link between PennDOT and local police departments throughout the state. More than 400 city agencies participate in CIOT’s enforcement and education initiative to help reduce unbelted injuries and deaths on all Pennsylvania roads.

“Once again, we are coordinating with our law enforcement agencies and road safety partners on the nationwide ‘Click It or Ticket’ law enforcement campaign to raise awareness of the importance wearing a seatbelt,” said HSN General Manager Bob Schaeffer. “Law enforcement plays a critical role in increasing seat belt use by combining public awareness activities with targeted seat belt enforcement. Seat belts save lives. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself in a vehicle is to buckle up every time.”

The CIOT app is part of the Pennsylvania Traffic Safety Program and is funded by a portion of PennDOT’s investment of federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

PennDOT encourages motorists to visit 511PA’s Historic Holiday Traffic page to plan for optimal travel times on major state roads this Memorial Day weekend. The holiday travel tool allows the public to see how traffic speeds on Friday before and Memorial Day in 2019 and 2021 compare to traffic conditions during a typical, non-holiday week. Users can choose their region and view an hour-by-hour, color-coded representation of traffic speeds to help determine the best times to travel during the holidays.

While PennDOT will remove lane restrictions and suspend construction projects where possible, the Historic Holiday Traffic page also allows the public to view interstate restrictions that will be in place during the holiday travel period.

The public can check conditions on more than 40,000 miles of road in Pennsylvania by visiting www.511PA.com. The service, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to over 1,000 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a smartphone app for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

For more information on seat belt safety, visit www.PennDOT.pa.gov/Safety.

PennDOT’s media center features social media-sized graphics highlighting topics such as aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving and seat belts for organizations, community groups or others people who share safety information with their stakeholders.

The public can join the discussion on social media using the hashtags #BeSafePA, #BuckleUp and #ClickItOrTicket.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter and like the department on Facebook and Instagram.

For more statistical information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jennifer Kuntch, PennDOT, 717-705-1551 or [email protected]
Myles Snyder, PSP, 717-783-5556 or [email protected]

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