In Governor Andrew Cuomo’s latest attempt to protect you from yourself, he’s directed the New York State Police to participate in operation “Buckle Up New York,” a two week crackdown on motorists who don’t wear seatbelts.
“The evidence is clear – seatbelts save lives,” Cuomo says.
“New York State has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to enforcing
this life-saving rule. It only takes a few seconds to fasten a seatbelt
or to secure a child’s safety seat, and this campaign encourages all New
Yorkers to take a moment to buckle up and save a life.”
During the campaign, State Police will team up with local law enforcement agencies to cash in on some federally funded overtime enforce New York’s seatbelt law.
As the governor’s office explains, the seatbelt law is a “primary”
law, which means a cop can pull you over if the only thing you’re doing
wrong is not buckling up.
Punishments for unbuckled motorists are as follows: “Front seat passengers 16 and older may be fined up to $50 if they do not
wear their seatbelt. Drivers may be fined up to $100 for each passenger
under the age of 16 who is not properly restrained in their vehicles.
The driver will also receive three violation points on his or her
Department of Motor Vehicles record.”
The crackdown is getting funded by a grant from the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, which allows law enforcement agencies to
pay officers overtime to do nothing but enforce a law designed to
protect you from yourself.
The New York State Police have conducted “buckle up” campaigns twice a
year for the past eight years. During last year’s May campaign,
authorities across the state issued 19,636 seatbelt-related tickets. In
all, police in New York handed out 306,693 seatbelt tickets in 2011.
The campaign kicks off today and ends June 3 — so buckle up.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 21, 2012