PennDOT, Police Partner for Seat-Belt Safety, Enforcement

HARRISBURG, Pa. – In an effort to promote driver safety and decrease unbuckled fatalities, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will partner with police statewide during the national Click It or Ticket seat-belt enforcement mobilization through June 5.

As part of the enforcement, Pennsylvania police will join agencies across the eastern half of the United States for a border-to-border initiative on May 23 to provide increased seat-belt enforcement at state borders reinforcing the states’ focus on safety.

“The Department of Transportation, law enforcement and all participating states want to send a united message to motorists,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Seat belts save lives and decrease crash risks, especially at night. We urge the public to be vigilant day and night.”

Throughout the Click It or Ticket mobilization, enforcement will focus largely on nighttime operations, using Traffic Enforcement Zones and roving patrols on roadways identified as having higher unbelted crash rates.

According to PennDOT data, unrestrained fatalities increased from 383 in 2014 to 413 in 2015. The statewide number of crashes in which people were not wearing seat belts decreased to 13,534, compared to 13,627 in 2014.

“Wearing a properly fastened seatbelt can save your life in the event of a crash,” said Major Edward Hoke, director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Patrol. “Please take the extra few seconds to buckle up. We also encourage the public to take advantage of our child safety seat checks to ensure their child’s safety seat is properly installed in their vehicle.”

Motorists are reminded that Pennsylvania’s primary seat-belt law requires drivers and passengers under 18 years old to buckle up, and children under the age of four must be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children ages 4 to 8 must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat. In addition, children ages 8 to 18 must be must be in a seat belt when riding anywhere in the vehicle.

Also, drivers and front-seat passengers 18 years old or older are required to buckle up. If motorists are stopped for a traffic violation and are not wearing their seat belt, they can receive a second ticket and second fine.

Funding for this enforcement effort comes from part of PennDOT’s statewide distribution of $2.5 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Northwest Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies participating in the initiative include:

  • Erie County – Millcreek Township Police Department and North East Police Department;
  • Mercer County – Grove City Police Department, Hermitage Police Department, Jefferson Township Police Department, and Pymatuning Police Department;
  • Venango County – Franklin Police Department, Oil City Police Department, and Sugarcreek Police Department;
  • Warren County – Conewango Township Police Department and Warren Police Department.

Visit for more information on seat-belt safety and PennDOT’s other traffic-safety initiatives. Join the discussion on social media by using #JustBuckleUp.

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