TRUMANSBURG, N.Y. (WENY) – New York State Troopers from the Ithaca, Homer and Owego barracks, as well as members of the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of Trumansburg Police Department, joined forces to hold a seatbelt check Tuesday afternoon.

The checkpoint is part of the annual “Buckle Up New York, Click It or Ticket” campaign, which runs from May 24 to June 6 to promote set belt use as the travel season picks up.

State Police and local law enforcement agencies will also use marked and unmarked vehicles, checkpoints and roving details to ticket drivers not wearing seatbelts.

“Seat belts save lives, and by expanding the seat belt law to include rear-seat passengers, New York State is able to save even more lives,” said Mark J.F. Schroeder, Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and GTSC Chair. “We want to make sure everyone understands the law and more importantly, knows the risks of not wearing a seat belt. Our Buckle Up New York campaign helps us do that. It is not about writing tickets; it is about educating the public that wearing a seat belt is necessary for your safety and the safety of others.”

In 1984, New York State was the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring drivers and front-seat passengers to use seatbelts. Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law requiring everyone in passenger vehicles, regardless of where they sit, to wear a seatbelt or be properly restrained in a child safety seat.

In the Empire State, police can ticket drivers for not wearing a seatbelt, even if they’re not committing any other traffic violations.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seatbelts saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017 nationally; on the other hand, 2,549 Americans died in crashes because they were not wearing their seatbelts. In New York State, the NHTSA estimates seatbelts saved 396 lives in 2017 and 11 children under five-years-old were saved by being properly restrained in car seats.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee also offers a training program to teach families how to properly install child safety restraints. Through the program, you can also get a free car child seat inspection. More information can be found here.