Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Reminds New Yorkers Of Annual Seat Belt Education And Enforcement Campaign | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Thursday, June 1, 2023 


“Buckle Up New York, Click It or Ticket” Running Now Through June 4

NASCAR Star Ross Chastain Partners with GTSC to Promote Seat Belt Safety

Nearly 18,000 Seat Belt and Child Restraint Violations Issued During 2022 Campaign

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) and star NASCAR driver Ross Chastain teamed up again today to demonstrate the importance of wearing a seat belt to teens in Monroe County as part of the annual statewide “Buckle Up New York, Click it or Ticket” education and enforcement campaign, which runs from May 22 until June 4.

Chastain joined GTSC this week at Benjamin Franklin High School in Rochester and Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES in Spencerport to show teens just how quick and easy it is to buckle up, and the devastating consequences of a crash when drivers and their passengers are not wearing a seat belt.

“It only takes a couple of seconds to fasten your seat belt and minimize the risk to yourself and others if your vehicle winds up in a crash,” said Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder. “We are happy to have Ross Chastain back again to educate New York’s teens and younger drivers about buckling up whether they are behind the wheel or in the back seat. It’s the law and it can make all the difference.”

Ross Chastain, when he’s not driving on the NASCAR circuit, is an eighth-generation watermelon farmer, hence him sporting New York’s “Protect Your Melon” logo on both his uniform and his #91 Buckle Up NY Chevy when he hits the track for the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Watkins Glen International later this summer. To further drive home the message, more than 1,500,000 watermelons labeled with “Protect Your Melon” and a “Buckle Up!” hashtags will be sold in grocery stores across the state through the rest of the spring and summer.

New York has been a national leader in seat belt safety. In 1984, we were the first state in the country to pass legislation requiring drivers and front seat passengers to use seat belts. In 2020, those historic seat belt laws got even tighter with the enactment of a law to also require back seat passengers to wear a seat belt or be properly restrained in a child safety seat. Data compiled by the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management & Research (ITSMR) shows that seat belt compliance is consistently at or above 90 percent in New York each year.

New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said, “Safety restraints are not an option in New York. Our Troopers see first-hand the injuries suffered by those who don’t buckle up when they climb into a vehicle. During this campaign, we will be looking for those who are not using seatbelts and makecertainthey understand that buckling up could be a life-saving decision. I thank the GTSC for their partnership in educating and bringing awareness to all who get into a vehicle in New York State.”

Chief of the Ossining Police Department and President of the NYS Association of Chiefs of Police Kevin P. Sylvester said, “Our members and their personnel statewide take a great deal of pride and interest in maintaining New York’s seat belt compliance rate of over 90 percent. Our partnerships, public education, awareness programs and high visibility engagement activities all contributed to this accomplishment.  We pledge to continue our collaborative efforts to achieve even greater compliance, both day and night, to encourage seat belt use by all passengers on every trip.”

Albany County Sheriff and President of the NYS Sheriffs’ Association Craig D. Apple Sr. said, “The most effective device for saving lives and preventing injuries in a vehicle is the seat belt.  Everyone must wear a seat belt or be in an appropriate child restraint device, even back seat passengers.  As you get out and travel more with the nice weather remember, the Sheriffs of New York State want you to wear your seat belt because it’s smart, it’s simple, and it’s the law!”

As part of its ongoing effort to make sure drivers and passengers are safe, GTSC’s Child Passenger Safety Program supports training on how to properly install child safety restraints. Through this program, law enforcement and various community safety partners offer free child car seat inspections by certified child passenger safety technicians year-round. Information for parents and caregivers is available at

For more information on occupant protection, please visit the GTSC’s website or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

About GTSC

Combined with education and enforcement campaigns, GTSC coordinates various traffic safety activities throughout the year and supports ongoing initiatives to improve pedestrian, motorcycle and bicycle safety. The GTSC also sponsors critical training for law enforcement, provides resources for teen drivers and their parents, and promotes seatbelt use statewide.

For more information about GTSC, visit, or follow the GTSC conversation at Facebook and Twitter.




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