Local Police Departments Strive to Increase Seatbelt Use

CLEARFIELD – Police in Clearfield and throughout Pennsylvania will be participating in a Thanksgiving seat belt campaign in an effort to increase nighttime seat belt use.

Although seat belt usage rates are at an all-time high of 86 percent in Pennsylvania, according to PennDOT, more unbuckled fatalities are occurring during the nighttime hours.

“The importance of buckling up every time you get into a vehicle cannot be stressed often enough,” said Trooper Jamie LeVier of the Pennsylvania State Police. “Nighttime driving can be more dangerous because of reduced visibility and the possibility of impaired drivers being on the road.”

More than 350 police departments across the state will conduct traffic safety checkpoints and roving patrols from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. as part of the Thanksgiving mobilization. The enforcement period will run from November 20-26. As part of the effort, any motorist cited for a moving violation and not wearing a seat belt will receive a second ticket as part of the “Click It or Ticket” program.

The program is part of a nationwide campaign to increase seat belt use to 90 percent by 2008. For every percentage point that the national seat belt use rate increases, three million new people buckle up and 250 lives are saved. Last year, PennDOT spent about $5 million on enforcement and education related to the state’s seat belt law.

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