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police & fire

Seatbelt Compliance Way Up, Piermont Chief Says

Piermont Police Department
Piermont Police Department Photo Credit: Piermont Police

PIERMONT, N.Y. - It looks like drivers who are passing through Piermont get the message: click it or ticket.

The Piermont Police Department began their Buckle Up, New York-Click It or Ticket seatbelt enforcement initiative on May 23. Already Police Chief Michael O'Shea said his officers are reporting a strong compliance rate from drivers.

"The compliance rate is well up, well over 90 percent," O'Shea said. 90 percent is currently the compliance rate of motorists throughout the state, according to statistics provided by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee. In 2011 the committee set a goal of bumping that compliance rate up to 91 percent.

According to the GTSC, 21 percent of highway deaths in the state resulted because vehicle occupants were not restrained.

Piermont officers are doing their part by patrolling the village and setting up checkpoints. In addition to monitoring 9W-a road that sees 10,000 cars pass through the village in a given day-officers are patrolling roads like Piermont Avenue, Ash Street, and Hickey Street, O'Shea said.

It's unclear how many total violations have been reported by O'Shea's department but he did say that one officer wrote 10 tickets in one day.

"There are still violations out there," O'Shea said. "When you're looking at that volume [9W, other streets], you're going to see that number of violations."

Officers are also finding themselves issuing tickets for improper child restraints. O'Shea said one dangerous situation officers encounter is when a parent will sit with a child in their lap.

Under state law all front seat occupants must wear a seatbelt, regardless of age. If the passenger is not yet 16 years old the driver is responsible for his or her compliance. Additionally all rear seat passengers under age 16 must wear a seatbelt, according to the GTSC.

Meanwhile children under the age of 4 must be restrained in a federally approved child safety seat while children ages 4 through 7 must also be properly restrained, according to the GTSC.

Piermont's enforcement initiative will run until June 5, O'Shea said.

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