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Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Amherst Police Department Launches Statewide Click It or Ticket Enforcement Effort

Massachusetts drivers and passengers should always wear their seat belts or be ready to face the consequences. That’s the message the Amherst Police Department will be sending this summer as they check to make sure motorists are buckling up. Beginning May 21, 2011, through June 5, 2011, the Amherst Police Department will be participating in this seat belt enforcement mobilization, taking place across the state, designed to increase seat belt use and decrease motor vehicle fatalities. “Too many people still have the belief that a crash will never happen to them,” said Amherst Police Chief Scott P. Livingstone. “Unfortunately these tragedies can and do happen every day.”

The Amherst Police Department has taken a zero tolerance stance on seat belt use. Amherst Police Officers have issued 143 citations in 2010 for failing to buckle up.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 334 traffic fatalities in Massachusetts in 2009. Sixty-five percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash - twelve percent higher than the national average. That’s why the Amherst Police Department is joining with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), the State Police and many other local law enforcement organizations to launch the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization. Funded by EOPSS using a federal grant, stepped-up law enforcement activities will be conducted in late May and early June. So remember, if you are pulled over for disobeying traffic laws, law enforcement WILL be checking to make sure drivers and passengers are wearing their seat belts. No more excuses, no more exceptions. Click It or Ticket.

The Amherst Police Department conducts Child Passenger Car Seat inspections on the 3rd Saturday of each month, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., by appointment only. Open to all community members, our certified technicians will thoroughly inspect your child passenger car seat for wear and effectiveness and install it properly to assure the safest ride for your children. To schedule a 30-minute appointment either e-mail the Amherst Police Department or call 413-259-3355 and leave a voicemail.

Community members may also contact the Western Mass SAFE KIDS Coalition, which conducts weekly checkpoints on Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by appointment only at 413-794-2255.

For additional information please visit www.mass.gov/highwaysafety or contact Sergeant Gabriel Ting at 413-259-3000 or via email or Officer Todd Lang.

* According to NHTSA, all numbers and percentages referencing belted or unbelted fatalities are based on “Known Usage.”

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