ALBANY – New York State Police, New York State Park Police and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee will crack down on people not using seatbelts while riding and driving in state parks.
BUNY in the Parks is an enforcement and educational campaign to ensure that visiting motorists and their passengers properly buckle-up their seatbelts while travelling inside state parks, and to teach the importance of properly securing youngsters in approved child safety seats. This year’s campaign will be from Saturday, July 13, to Monday, August 12, 2019.
Since New York State became the first state in the nation to enact a primary seatbelt law, in 1985, authorities said countless lives have been saved. The seatbelt compliance rate has steadily increased, and was at 93 percent in New York State last year.
However, motor vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of death for children. Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reflects that, of the 794 children that were killed in fatal crashes in 2017, 37 percent were unrestrained. The NHTSA also found that among children under 5 years old, an estimated 325 lives were saved in 2017 by restraint use.
“We want the public to enjoy their summer outings, but we want them to do so safely. Motorists must remember that proper use of seatbelts and child safety seats reduces the risk of injuries and save lives, especially when it comes to our children. The New York State Police, State Parks Police and our law enforcement partners will be working diligently to educate motorists and enforce compliance to prevent needless tragedies and keep motorists safe,” New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said.
The initiative coincides with one of the peak times that visitors travel to state parks throughout New York State, and the goal is for motorists and their families to arrive and depart safely. Increasing seatbelt use is one of the most effective ways to reduce crash related injuries and fatalities, officials said.
During the 2018 BUNY in the Parks campaign, State Police and State Park Police issued more than 3,700 tickets. That included 2,107 tickets for child restraint violations, and 764 tickets for adult seatbelt violations.