State Police kick off annual 'Buckle Up, No Excuses' campaign

5:53 PM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
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PALMYRA, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- This year there have been 32 vehicle fatalities and 16 of those deaths involved someone not wearing their seat belt. As Memorial weekend kicks off the summer months Maine officers are launching the 'Buckle Up--No Excuses' campaign. There is one goal in mind to educate people on the importance of wearing your seat belt.

Trooper Blake Conrad with the Maine State Police said, "That is one of our goals when we do make traffic stops. It's to get that voluntary compliance and also get the driver educated on some of the rules and regulations."

The campaign will last until June 2nd and police will be out in full force to crack down on those not buckling up.

"There's a lot of accidents that troopers respond to and other law enforcement officers respond to and unfortunately most of the time those that aren't wearing their seat belts end up being ejected from the vehicle. That does not increase the chance of you surviving the crash," said Trooper Conrad.

Last year, there were 124 fatal car crashes and 76 of those involved those not wearing a seat belt.

"We are not out to get people. We are not out to just give tickets. You know we will write tickets if the situation calls for it, but I cant say it enough we want voluntary compliance in the state of Maine," said Conrad.

If you choose not to comply it comes with a hefty fine. A first time offense will cost $70, a second offense will be $160, and the third will be $310.

The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety distributed more than $178,000 in federal funding to assist in the effort and cover officers' overtime.  

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