With Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer travel season, less than a week away, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), and Highway Safety Network (HSN) are urging motorists to drive safe. The agencies are working with municipal police departments and other safety partners across the commonwealth to participate in the National “Click It or Ticket” (CIOT) Enforcement Mobilization running through June 5.
“Seat belts save lives,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Through continued enforcement and education, we hope to see more people buckling up and fewer fatal crashes on Pennsylvania’s roads.”
In 2021 there were 12,672 crashes in Pennsylvania where at least one occupant was not wearing a seat belt, resulting in 378 fatalities.
In 2020, it is estimated that 94% of unbelted occupants, or 305 people, who were killed in crashes while traveling in passenger vehicles, including cars, small trucks, vans, and SUVs, could have survived if they had been buckled up.
PSP data from 2021 indicated during the four-day Memorial Day weekend, troopers investigated 844 crashes that resulted in eight fatalities and 183 injuries. State Police also cited 1,025 individuals for not wearing seat belts and issued 144 tickets for not securing children in safety seats.
As part of the enforcement mobilization, state and local police, along with law enforcement across the United States, participated in a Border-to-Border initiative on May 23 to provide increased seat belt enforcement at state borders, reinforcing the states’ focus on safety.
Pennsylvania law requires any occupant younger than 18 to buckle up when riding in a vehicle, as well as drivers and front-seat passengers. Children under the age of 2 must be secured in a rear-facing car seat, and children under the age of 4 must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children must ride in a booster seat until their eighth birthday.
In addition to adopting a zero-tolerance approach toward violators, troopers certified as child passenger safety technicians will offer car seat fittings and inspections throughout Pennsylvania, helping ensure that car seats are in good working condition, installed properly, and free from recalls.
“State police child passenger safety technicians undergo thorough training and are available to assist you,” said Major Jeremy Richard, acting PSP deputy commissioner of operations. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of this free resource to help keep their youngest passengers safe while traveling.”
A complete list of child passenger seat fitting stations is available at psp.pa.gov.