Sharon police join officers statewide to make sure drivers buckle up

The Sharon Police Department was out for four hours Monday, reminding people that seat belts can save lives

SHARON, Pa. (WYTV) – Do you wear your seat belt every time you get in a car, whether you’re behind the wheel or just along for the ride? If you answered no, Sharon police want to remind you why it’s a big deal.

Local police departments across Pennsylvania are on the lookout for drivers and passengers who aren’t wearing seat belts.

It’s all part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Click It or Ticket Campaign” to enforce the use of seat belts and child car seats.

The statewide effort kicked off Monday with a four-hour patrol.

“We have two cars out tonight and their primary focus is to find aggressive drivers and make sure everyone is safe and make sure everyone has their seat belt on,” said Police Chief Gerald Smith.

Officer John Zych was out patrolling Sharon’s city limits on Monday.

“If we stop a car for a motor vehicle violation, we’ll check the occupants and make sure they’re wearing seat belts and the children are in car seats and if they’re not, we could either address that with a warning or a possible citation,” he said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 48 percent of over 22,000 people killed in car crashes in 2015 were unbuckled.

Pennsylvania’s border to border campaign isn’t just about wearing your seat belt. It’s also to check to make sure children are riding in the proper child safety seats. In the state, children under the age of 4 must be properly restrained in an approved car seat.

“There are weight limits on when you can move up to the next type of child restraint device,” Smith said.

You won’t get pulled over for a seat belt offense alone — there needs to be a traffic violation. Still, not wearing a seat belt or having a proper child car seat could get you a second ticket and fine.

“We do a lot of traffic stops and it’s the focus of that. To educate and, like I said, save lives,” Smith said.

This year’s Click It or Ticket effort includes a “Border-to-Border” 22-state operation.