Thursday, July 7, 2016

Law enforcement and traffic safety partners join together to protect our youngest New Yorkers

Today, the New York State Police and New York State Parks Police were joined by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in delivering the message encouraging state park visitors to buckle up for safety.
This initiative partners the New York State Police and the New York State Park Police in an enforcement and educational campaign to encourage visiting motorists and their passengers to properly buckle-up their seatbelts, and teach the importance of properly securing our youngest visitors in approved child safety seats.
Despite the overall success of the recent “Click it or Ticket” and “Buckle Up New York” campaigns, a subset of non-compliant motorists still exists.  The State Police and Park Police have noticed a disturbing trend of lower seatbelt and child restraint use in proximity to state parks located outside large urban areas. It is the goal of this partnership to increase compliance and raise awareness of this issue with this joint summer parks enforcement initiative.
Since New York State became the first state in the nation to enact a primary seatbelt law, effective January 1, 1985, countless lives have been saved.  The seatbelt compliance rate has steadily increased, reaching 92 percent in 2015. However, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages one through 13.  Based on U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data in 2011, on average, nearly two children (age 13 and younger in a passenger vehicle) were killed and 338 were injured each day. This fatality rate could be reduced by about half if correct child safety seats were always used.
New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “As the summer travel season continues, the State Police, State Parks Police and our partners strongly encourage the proper use of seat belts and child safety seats in motor vehicles. This is about protecting the smallest New Yorkers, our children. By simply buckling-up, we can reduce severe injuries and deaths in motor vehicle crashes. We will continue to work diligently to promote proper seatbelt use and compliance."

State Park Police Major David Page, Commanding Officer of the Western District, said, “Taking a few seconds to buckle up could be a life changing decision. State Park Police Officers make it their priority to protect both children and adults and ensure that they do not put themselves – and others at risk for injury by not “clicking it.” An action as simple as buckling your seatbelt or securing your child in a child safety seat could be all it takes to stay unharmed,” said Major David Page, Commanding Officer of the Western District, NY State Park Police.