NEW YORK—It’s summertime and New York’s state parks provide some welcome relaxation. There are some ground rules, however. While driving, visitors need to make sure their kids are buckled up, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday. The reminder comes after a string of recent seat belt and child restraint violations.
To ensure drivers and passengers are using seat belts and keep their eyes on the road, the New York State Police and New York State Park Police will be stepping up their efforts. They will launch an enforcement and educational campaign from July 13 to July 28, Governor Cuomo stated in a press release.
New York’s state parks receive over 60 million visits per year, according to Rose Harvey, Commissioner of Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
“Seatbelts save lives, period,” said Harvey. “The excitement and beauty offered within our parks can serve as a distraction to many and seatbelts and child restraints aid those who unexpectedly find themselves in a precarious situation.”
“Countless times we have responded to a scene and identified that seatbelts and proper child safety seats have either prevented serious injury or saved a life. A three second act to buckle up is well worth the investment that could ultimately save your life,” says Richard K. O’Donnell, New York State Parks Police Chief.
New York was the first state in the nation to pass a primary seat belt law, enacted on January 1st, 1985. In spite of this, motor accidents are the top killer of children aged one to 12. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash data showed an average of about two children under 12 killed and 325 injured every day in 2010.
The press release coincided with one of the peak times visitors travel to state parks. “I urge all motorists to properly buckle up their children so families can enjoy their vacations safely,” Governor Cuomo said.