Buckle up: It could cost you this summer on Vermont and New York roadways

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Whether you are driving in Vermont or New York, police are urging motorists to buckle up.

Law enforcement agencies from the two states met on the Champlain Bridge that connects Addison, Vermont to Crown Point, New York.

“This year from May 21 to June 3, state, local and county law enforcement across the country will be cracking down on people that choose not to wear their seat belt,” said Paul White. White is the law enforcement liaison for the Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

Vermont and New York have been participating in the ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign for 17 years. The campaign is aimed to increase the number of motorist wearing seat belts. 

“Buckle Up New York campaign is one of the most successful traffic safety campaigns in history. Hundreds of lives have been saved, and thousands of injuries prevented,” said Major John Tibbitts of the New York State Police, Troop B.

In New York, 90% of drivers wear a seat belt. While in Vermont, that percentage is lower at 85%.

“Among young adults, ages 18 to 34 killed in crashes in 2016, more than half (57%) were completely unrestrained. One of the highest percentages for all age groups,” said Christopher Herrick. Herrick is the Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Public Safety.

“You will see a big push of extra enforcement, cracking down on speeding, aggressive driving, and distracted driving,” said Paul White.

In both states, the law requires you to wear a seat belt. Though there are differences when it comes to being pulled over for not complying.

“In New York, it’s a primary enforcement tool. Just for not having a seat belt on, the trooper can pull you over,” said Major Tibbitts.

In Vermont, things are different. Not wearing a seat belt is a secondary offense. Meaning, a police officer can not pull you over solely on that infringement.

“However, if you are stopped for another violation, the seatbelt is an additional $25. On top of the fine for the underlying violation,” said Paul White.

In neighboring New Hampshire, law enforcement there will work closely with neighboring Maine and Massachusetts.

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