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Drivers Are Buckling Up in Tuckahoe, Eastchester

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Despite statewide budget cuts to the Buckle Up New York “Click it or Ticket” campaign, both the Eastchester and Tuckahoe police departments called the program a success.

Police set up checkpoints between May 21 and June 3 to check motorists for violations ranging from improper lane use to drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belts. Both departments reported numbers were down significantly from a year ago.

“The program went well. We've seen that the seat belt summons have dwindled, and the number of tickets we issued have decreased,” Tuckahoe Police Lt. Ray Stabile said. “It’s all about keeping motorists safe. We want to see the numbers keep decreasing.”

In Tuckahoe, police said they found 49 seat belt violations, down from 60 a year ago. There were 25 tickets for drivers operating with an expired vehicle inspection and three drivers were ticketed for speeding. Police said they found eight registration inspections and four tickets were issued for mobile phone use. Garrett Avenue was a hot spot for the police, where 74 of the 122 tickets were given out.

“We try to spread our patrols around, but [Garrett Avenue] is one of the safest places for us to conduct a checkpoint. It has one of the highest rates of traffic,” Stabile said. “We prefer compliance to issuing tickets, we try to be visible. We just want people to be safe.”

In Eastchester, police issued 80 tickets, 46 of which were for seat belt violations. Despite the fact their financing was cut nearly 33 percent, the department was able to utilize both checkpoints and roaming patrols to identify motorists allegedly breaking the rules.

Eastchester Police Lt. Jeffrey Hunter said roughly 90 percent of all drivers were in compliance, a number that has hardly fluctuated in a number of years.

“Our goal is to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by the omission of wearing a seat belt,” he said. “It’s a shame the funding has been cut, like many programs in the state. Its always been a successful enforcement campaign.”

Despite the high visibility of the program, Stabile said drivers still are being caught without their seat belts.

“This enforcement detail has been conducted for a long time,” he said. “There’s no excuse not to wear a seat belt. We’re glad that people seem to be getting the message.”

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