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State To Launch 2-Week ‘Buckle Up New York’ Effort

Using a seat belt (file/credit: Department for Transport via Getty Images)

Using a seat belt (file/credit: Department for Transport via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – You’d better buckle up across the state of New York, or you could be forced to pay up.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, the state is launching a two-week Buckle Up New York effort as part of the larger national Click It or Ticket initiative. Nearly a dozen other states are also taking part in the effort.

Data shows 14 percent of Suffolk County residents never wear their seatbelts when driving, Hall reported.

Chris Scalone, 17, is sharing his story as part of the campaign. Last year, he was a passenger in a car when they got into a collision with someone driving over the speed limit. Scalone said he survived because he was wearing his seat belt.

“I remember the force of my seat belt against my chest, holding me back, preventing me from hitting the dashboard or worse: going through the windshield,” Scalone told Hall. “You don’t know anything about the other people on the road, their state of mind, whether they’re texting, whether they’re drinking or whether they are just a reckless driver.”

The Buckle Up crackdown begins Monday and runs through June 1 across the state. New Jersey and Connecticut are among 10 other states taking part in the crackdown.

State officials said the effort is about individual safety.

“The human body does not hold up well when it comes to that kind of collision,” New York State Trooper Frank Bandiero said. “There’s absolutely no way to stay in a vehicle in a violent crash. The only way is to be belted in.”

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