Click it or ticket, day and night - two tickets, two fines.
Beginning Monday and running through Sunday, June 9, the Warren City Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Tidioute Borough Police Department, the Conewango Township Police and the Warren County Sheriff's Office will join over 600 law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth in enforcing seatbelt laws.
"In 2012, more than 500 people who died in crashes in Pennsylvania were not wearing their seat belt. Officers like me are determined to decrease that number," Warren City Police Sgt. Kenneth Hinton said. "In May and June, you'll see Traffic Enforcement Zone signs on roadways where many people crash and don't wear seat belts. Police will also cite drivers and front-seat passengers who aren't wearing seat belts."
Times Observer photo by Ben Klein
Shurfine Store Manager Micah Caldwell, Warren City Police Sgt. Kenneth Hinton, and Thornes Bilo Co-Manager Tom Sweet are pictured at the Warren Police Department on Monday.
The majority of the enforcement will take place between 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and will include roving patrols, traffic safety checkpoints and identified unbelted crash roadways.
The city police department is partnering with Thorne's Bi-Lo and Warren Shurfine to distribute a number of flyers and promotional items encouraging residents to buckle up during the campaign.
"Seatbelts save lives," Bi-Lo Co-Manager Tom Sweet said. "We're doing our part in the community, helping the police department get the word out."
That includes Pennsylvania state law which says seat belts are required for front seat passengers, everyone under the age of 18, and children under 8 years old must be properly restrained. This is a primary law, meaning the police will pull motorists over, write a ticket and if convicted the violator must pay at least a $60 fine, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
If a motorist is pulled over and cited for speeding or another offense such as running a red light or not using a turn signal, and is not buckled up, he or she will receive a second ticket as well.
Under Pennsylvania's primary child passenger safety law, children under the age of four must be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat anywhere in the vehicle. Children ages 4 to 8 must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat.
According to PennDOT, a seatbelt raises the survivability rate by 45 percent in a car and 60 percent in a truck or SUV. Fewer people use a seatbelt at night and 80 percent of nighttime fatalities are unbuckled.
Information from www.justdrivepa.org shows 67 percent of the pickup truck drivers killed in traffic crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.
The Aggressive Driving Detail held in April by the City of Warren Police Department also made a number of vehicle stops for a number of citations. A total 31.75 hours were worked under the grant to fund the campaign at a total 27.5 hours were reimbursed overtime paid through a grant; 66 vehicles were stopped for 45 citations; 35 speeding citations were issued; two citations were issued for 18-year-old subjects or older not wearing seatbelts; three citations were given for improper turning; one citation was given for running a red light; and four citations for other violations were issued.