Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial harbinger of summer travel, and the Pennsylvania State Police have a message for drivers across the Commonwealth: “Click It or Ticket.”
From May 13 to June 2, the Department will conduct high visibile enforcement of a no-tolerance Buckle Up PA policy. They are also offering help from certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians, who will be conducting free car seat fitting stations. At these fitting stations, caregivers can have their car seats checked for suitability and can receive instruction in the proper installation of car seats and harnessing of children in those seats.
“‘Click it or Ticket’ isn’t about citations, it’s about saving lives,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said in a statement. “Wearing a seat belt increases your chances of surviving a crash by up to 60 percent. Through continued enforcement and education, we hope to see more people buckling up and fewer fatal crashes on Pennsylvania’s roads.”
Pennsylvania law requires any passenger under 18-years-old to buckle up when riding in a vehicle, as well as drivers and front-seat passengers. Children under the age of two must be secured in a rear-facing car seat, and children under the age of four must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children must ride in a booster seat until their eighth birthday.
According to preliminary data from the State Police, PennDOT data shows that 399 people were killed in unrestrained crashes in 2018, 21 more than in 2017. Crash data for 2018 is not yet available, but in 2017 there were 14,309 unrestrained crashes in Pennsylvania, a decrease from 14,992 crashes in 2016. From 2013 to 2017, there was an average of 14,180 unrestrained crashes and more than 400 fatalities.
“State police child passenger safety technicians completed nearly 500 no-cost car seat checks during the 2018 ‘Click it or Ticket’ mobilization,” Major James Basinger, director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Patrol said in a press release. “By hosting dozens of events across the commonwealth, we hope everyone who drives with children in the car will take advantage of this resource to keep their youngest passengers safe while traveling.”
A complete list of child seat inspection stations can be found on the state police website, psp.pa.gov.