Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour is urging everyone to buckle up heading into the busy summer driving season.
Sheriff's deputies are out in full force, partnering with the New York State Police and other local law enforcement agencies, taking part in the 2013 National Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign.
The primary goal of this campaign is to increase seat belt usage and to reduce fatalities and the severity of injuries in crashes.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than half of the passengers killed in 2011 were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. It also states crashes were more prevalent at night than during the day.
Automobile crashes are the No. 1 killer of children between the ages 1 to 12, and 85 to 90 percent of all child restraints are installed incorrectly. Children must be rear facing until they are at least 1 year old and 20 pounds. The new recommendations are to keep them rear facing as close to 2 years old as possible. Children must use a child restraint until their eighth birthday and should be kept in a restraint until the seat belts fit them properly.
The Niagara County Sheriff's Office offers a permanent fitting station. The hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Seat checks are done by appointment only. Call Grace Destino at 438-3190 to schedule an appointment.
Checkpoints are also done throughout the county, mainly in the warmer months, with no appointment necessary. Go to niagarasheriff.com and find the next location on the calendar of events.
"It's important that everyone buckles up every time they go out, both day and night - and there is no good excuse not to have your children properly buckled. Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but still far too many motorists are senselessly killed or seriously injured by not wearing them, especially at night when the risk of getting in a crash is even greater," Voutour said. "We want everyone to have a safe summer, but it requires an important step that everyone buckles up prior to heading out on our roadways."