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Safety campaign is underway statewide this weekend

Local law enforcement departments around the state are teaming up with the New York State Police for the two-week period from May 22 to June 4.

The annual campaign, "Buckle Up New York, Click it or Ticket," focuses on children's car seat and seat belt enforcement. Authorities time their yearly initiative to coincide with the Memorial Day holiday.

During the campaign in 2016, officers handed out over 28,000 citations for car seat and seat belt violations.

State troopers are working alongside their local counterparts in roadside details and checkpoints. The goal is to reduce the dangers to motorists over one of the most heavily-traveled weekends of the year.

In this year's announcement about the safety initiative, the New York State Police Superintendent stated:

"As the summer travel season begins, we . . . strongly encourage the proper use of seat belts and child safety seats in motor vehicles. Wearing a seat belt is a simple measure that dramatically reduces the risk of severe injury or death in a crash."

By the estimate of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts were responsible for saving 13,941 individual's lives in a single year in the United States. According to the agency, an additional 2,804 others could have survived the collisions that ultimately claimed their lives if they had been properly restrained.

Based on data from 2015 from this state alone, the NHTSA estimates that 443 people survived serious accidents because they were wearing seat belts. That same year, seven children age 4 or younger lived because their parents made sure they were secured in car seats.

This holiday weekend, don't become a statistic. Take precautions on the highways and use seat belts and car seats appropriate for children's ages and sizes.

Accidents can occur without warning due to another driver's negligence, so you want to protect yourself as much as possible. If another motorist causes an accident that injures you —regardless of whether he or she is charged or ticketed — you can seek civil justice through the New York courts.

Source: Patch, "Memorial Day Weekend 2017: Seatbelt Enforcement Campaign is On in NY," Lanning Taliaferro, May 23, 2017

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