Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), and Highway Safety Network (HSN) are urging motorists to keep traffic safety top of mind when behind the wheel this holiday weekend, and all summer long. 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 now through June 4.
“Seat belts save lives,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “If you know someone who doesn’t wear their seat belt, please ask them to consider changing their habit. Losing a loved one in a crash because they weren’t buckled can truly devastate a family. A seat belt is your best protection in a crash, but you have to ‘click it!’”
As part of the enforcement mobilization, tonight state and local police agencies, will be taking part in coordinated, high visibility enforcement by utilizing roving patrols, traffic enforcement zones, and speed enforcement details on roadways with high rates of unbuckled crashes.
“We are grateful to our law enforcement partners who continue to educate motorists and promote the importance of wearing seat belts every day,” said Highway Safety Network Executive Director Chris Lengle. “The “Click It or Ticket” mobilization highlights that importance by bringing together all law enforcement to achieve our common goal of saving lives. Each contact creates an opportunity to change someone’s behavior and, quite possibly, save their life.”
In 2022, there were 11,955 crashes in Pennsylvania where at least one occupant was not wearing a seat belt, resulting in 354 fatalities. It is estimated that 93% of unbelted occupants, or 301 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.
During the four-day Memorial Day weekend in 2022, PSP troopers investigated 775 crashes that resulted in three fatalities and 191 injuries. State Police also cited 1,080 individuals for not wearing seat belts and issued 233 tickets for not securing children in safety seats.
Pennsylvania law requires drivers, front-seat passengers, and any occupant younger than 18 to buckle up when riding in a vehicle. Children under age 4 must be properly secured in an approved child safety seat. Children under age 2 must ride in a rear-facing car seat until they outgrow the maximum weight and height limits designated by the seat manufacturer. Booster seats are required for children ages 4 to 8.
Troopers certified as child passenger safety technicians offer car seat fittings and inspections throughout Pennsylvania, helping ensure that car seats are in good working condition, installed properly, and free from recalls.
“Child safety seats save lives but are most effective when installed and used correctly,” said PSP commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris. “Troopers certified as child passenger safety technicians will explain how to correctly install the seat, correct any errors in the installation, and provide information on best practices.”
The checks are free of charge. A complete list of child passenger seat fitting stations is available at psp.pa.gov.
With summer travel kicking off this weekend, PennDOT reminds motorists to visit 511PA’s Historic Holiday Traffic page to plan optimal travel times on major roadways across the state this Memorial Day. The holiday travel tool allows the public to see how traffic speeds on the Friday before and on Memorial Day in 2021 and 2022 compare to traffic conditions during a typical, non-holiday week. Users can choose their region and view an hour-by-hour, color-coded representation of traffic speeds to help determine the best times to travel during the holiday.
While PennDOT will remove lane restrictions and suspend construction projects wherever possible, the Historic Holiday Traffic page also allows the public to view interstate restrictions that will be in place during the holiday travel period.
Motorists are reminded they can also check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles in Pennsylvania year-round by visiting www.511PA.com. The service, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
For more information on seat belt safety visit, www.PennDOT.pa.gov/Safety.
For more statistical information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.
Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Liaisons (LEL), a grant-funded program administered by the Highway Safety Network (HSN), are a vital link between PennDOT and local police agencies across the state. For more information, visit highwaysafetynetwork.org.
The CIOT enforcement is part of Pennsylvania’s Highway Safety Program and is funded by part of PennDOT’s investment of federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
PennDOT’s media center offers social media-sized graphics highlighting topics such as aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving, and seat belts for organizations, community groups, or others who share safety information with their stakeholders.
The public can join the discussion on social media using the hashtags #BeSafePA, #BuckleUp, and #ClickItOrTicket.
Follow PennDOT on Twitter and like the department on Facebook and Instagram.