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Riverhead Town Police are participating in the statewide “Click It or Ticket” campaign running from May 22 through June 4.

New York’s law enforcement agencies across the state will be enforcing seatbelt laws during the “Buckle Up New York/Click It or Ticket” 2023 May mobilization.

This high-visibility, “zero tolerance” two-week enforcement effort, with fixed and roving details, is intended to save lives by ensuring all motorists and their passengers are buckled up, police said.

Nationally in 2021, 11,813 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts, according to the National Highway Safety Administration. Among the young adults (18 to 34) killed, 59% were unbuckled — one of the highest percentages for all age groups.

Last year, Riverhead Police issued 788 summonses during the “click it or ticket” campaign, using targeted patrols and six checkpoints. They issued

  • 192 summonses for seatbelt violations;
  • 21 for child restraint violations;
  • 63 for cell phone violations; and 
  • 502 for other vehicle and traffic violations such as unlicensed operator, operating a motor vehicle with a revoked/suspended license, uninspected vehicle and unregistered vehicle. 

Police said they also made two arrests at last year’s checkpoints: one for Driving While Intoxicated and one for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Second Degree for operating with a revoked/suspended license.

Under New York State law:

  • All drivers and front-seat and rear-seat passengers must be properly secured with a seatbelt, regardless of age.
  • Children up to age 4 must be properly restrained in a federally approved child safety seat that is attached to a vehicle by a seat belt or universal child restraint anchorage system.
  • All backseat passengers under age 2 must be restrained in a rear-facing child restraint.
  • Children less than age 4 but weighing more than 40 pounds may be restrained in a booster seat with a lap/shoulder safety belt.
  • Children ages 4 through 7 must be properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system, one for which the child meets the height and weight recommendations of the child restraint manufacturer.

A vehicle’s safety belt is not a child restraint system. Children riding in booster seats must be secured with a combination lap/shoulder seat belt, NEVER secure a child in a booster seat with only a lap belt.

Airbags are designed to work in conjunction with safety belts.  More injury can result without seat belt use when the airbag deploys, police said.

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