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Cops target seat belt violators, child restraint use in state parks

Two state law enforcement agencies said Thursday they have launched an enforcement and educational campaign targeting motorists in and around state parks who don’t buckle up or use approved child safety seats.

Both State Police and State Parks Police joined the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in the safety initiative — encouraging state park visitors to buckle up.

Despite the overall success of the “Click it or Ticket” and “Buckle Up New York” campaigns, both agencies said they have noticed a “disturbing trend” of lower seat belt and child restraint use in proximity to state parks outside large urban areas, according to a news release.

State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said summertime means increased travel, which also translates to greater risk.

“This is about protecting the smallest New Yorkers, our children,” Beach said in a statement. “By simply buckling up, we can reduce severe injuries and deaths in motor vehicle crashes.”

State Park Police Maj. David Page, commanding officer of the Western District, called the few seconds it takes to buckle up a life-changing decision.

The initiative coincides with a peak attendance period for state parks throughout New York, and the goal is for motorists and their families to arrive and depart safely, the release said.

In 2015, State Police and State Parks Police issued more than 2,000 tickets during a buckle-up initiative focusing on state parks. More than 1,200 of those tickets were for improper child restraints, according to the release.

State & Region