New York State announced earlier Wednesday that law enforcement has written 69,832 tickets for vehicle and traffic law violations.  This was during the state’s “Buckle Up New York, Click it or Ticket” campaign which ran from May 24 to June 6, according to a press release. 

The campaign’s goal was to raise awareness of the importance of wearing seat belts.  This effort was supported by The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. 

12,573 of the 69,832 tickets issued in those two weeks were issued for seatbelt and child restraint violations, according to the release.

Other tickets were also given for speeding, distracted and impaired driving and move over law violations, among others.

Chuck DeWeese, assistant commissioner for The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee said, “Approximately one-third of front seat occupants are killed in motor vehicle crashes for not wearing a seatbelt.”

To support its efforts, New York has partnered with NASCAR driver Ross Chastain.  Chastain has been a driver in NASCAR’s top three national series for ten years. 

The watermelon farmer/driver kicked off this year’s campaign on May 20 during a press conference at Fort Edward Jr/Sr High School.

Chastain is also involved in the “Protect Your Melon” campaign, which promotes seatbelt use.

“Seatbelts are the easiest thing I can do to keep myself safe and it takes two seconds,” said Chastain, “we already know the right answer.  We know we should wear our seatbelts.”

He will also sport the campaigns logo on his firesuit and truck during the Watkins Glen truck race on August 7.

Chastain has also worked with Delaware to promote a similar effort.

On November 1, 2020 the state passed a new law that everyone in passenger vehicles, regardless of where they sit, must wear a seat belt.