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Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Urges Motorists to Join the #BuckleUpNY Challenge During Annual Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign

The New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today launched a new social media campaign, the #BuckleUpNY Challenge.

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Social media campaign coincides with annual Buckle Up New York seat belt enforcement mobilization.

Photo by: State of New York, via Twitter.

Albany, NY - May 27, 2016 - The New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today launched a new social media campaign, the #BuckleUpNY Challenge, as part of its annual seat belt enforcement mobilization, which is taking place statewide through June 5. 

As part of this new campaign, New Yorkers are encouraged to take a short video encouraging others across the state to #BuckleUpNY and share it on social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 

Xfinity driver Ross Chastain was the first person to issue the #BuckleUpNY challenge at a press conference in Watertown last week, where he challenged Chiefs of Police across the state to take this first-ever social media challenge.  Margaret Ryan, Executive Director at New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, in turn accepted the challenge.

“Every year across New York State, law enforcement agencies mobilize as part of a national education and enforcement campaign to make certain that motorists are wearing their seat belts,” said Acting GTSC Chair and DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan.  “Here in New York, we’re trying new things to get the word out. 

Last week, we launched a new ‘Protect Your Melon’ campaign with Xfinity driver Ross Chastain, and this week we’re launching a new #BuckleUpNY challenge on social media.  My challenge is for all New Yorkers to buckle up day and night, to protect themselves and their loved ones, and stay safe throughout the year.”

See Executive Deputy Commissioner Egan’s #BuckleUpNY Challenge here.

As part of the Buckle Up New York effort, the New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies will use marked and unmarked vehicles, checkpoints, and roving details to aggressively ticket unbelted drivers traveling the state's roadways. New York's seat belt law is a "primary enforcement law," which means that a law enforcement officer may stop motorists for not having a seat belt on.

Governor Cuomo announced in August that a record 92 percent of New Yorkers are buckling up and regularly using seat belts, making 2015 the sixth consecutive year that seat-belt use stayed at or above 90 percent, according to the New York State Seat Belt Observation Survey, conducted each year by the University at Albany Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research. New York was among only 19 states and the District of Columbia with seat belt use rates of 90 percent or higher.

Buckling up also means ensuring that children are restrained properly. As part of the GTSC's Child Passenger Safety Program, state and local police agencies, along with various community safety partners, offer free child car seat inspections by certified child passenger safety technicians year-round. In November, Governor Cuomo announced the alarming results of Child Passenger Safety Week seat check events, during which 88 percent of the 931 seats inspected were found to be improperly installed. Technicians found that only 112 had been installed correctly, which demonstrates the importance of learning how to properly install car seats and taking advantage of the state and locally sponsored safety check events. More information about upcoming child safety seat checks can be found here.

Additionally, GTSC recently supported the launch of a new "Save Face: Buckle Up" electronic billboard displayed across the state to remind New Yorkers of the dangers of not using seatbelts. The billboard image can be viewed here.

For more information about New York State law and buckling up correctly, click here.