Albany, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- If you don't fasten your seatbelt, be prepared to pay the price starting next week.
The New York State Thruway Authority and the New York State Police Troop T on Wednesday announced that the annual "Click It Or Ticket – Buckle Up New York" campaign, a 14-day enforcement of the statewide seatbelt initiative, begins Monday, May 23, and runs through Sunday, June 5.
Over the course of last year's "Buckle Up New York" initiative, members of Troop T issued 4,092 occupant restraint tickets to Thruway motorists in violation of the law. In 2010, Troop T issued 17,747 tickets to motorists who violated the state seatbelt law.
"In 1984, New York State became the first state to enact the mandatory seat law. With the support and vigilance of Troop T members and the driving public, we can save lives by adhering to this law," said Thruway Executive Director Michael R. Fleischer. "The evidence is clear – seatbelts save lives."
Troop T will join approximately 500 law enforcement agencies statewide in the 14-day initiative to enforce the State seatbelt law. Troop T patrols will enforce the law along the system. Troop T will conduct a few night time road checks.
"Troop T has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to enforcing this life-saving rule," said Troop T Commander Robert C. Meyers. "It only takes a few seconds to fasten a seatbelt or to secure a child's safety seat. Take that time. Save lives."
New York State law requires that all front-seat occupants must be properly secured, regardless of age. It also applies to all rear-seat passengers under the age of 16. Drivers and front-seat passengers who are age 16 or older may be fined up to $50 for not buckling up. Drivers failing to have children properly secured may be fined $100 and receive three points on their drivers' license.
"Babies and toddlers are the most vulnerable. They can't buckle themselves in. They must rely on adults to do it for them. It's mandatory. The operators who fail to buckle up or properly secure their occupants will be issued a ticket," Troop T Commander Major Meyers said.
The "Buckle Up New York – Click It Or Ticket" enforcement period is a statewide, zero-tolerance enforcement effort coordinated by the State Police and the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to increase safety restraint use in New York State.
Additional driver safety tips and information is available on the Thruway Authority's website at http://www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/safety/buckleupny.html and the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee website at www.safeny.com .