ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The 21st Annual “Buckle Up New York, Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign is underway and will run through November 29. Police will be making sure that everyone is wearing a seat belt and doing it properly. They will also check to see if children are restrained correctly in their child safety seat.

It is now illegal to travel in a vehicle without a seat belt on, including the backseat. As of November 1, everyone in passenger vehicles, regardless of where they sit, needs to wear a seat belt or be properly restrained in a child safety seat.

To further promote awareness, Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) has continued its partnership with Xfinity Series driver Ross Chastain and Spire Sports to encourage seat belt use through the “Protect Your Melon” campaign. As part of this initiative, 1,500,000 watermelons labeled with “Protect Your Melon” and “Buckle Up” were sold in grocery stores throughout the state during the spring and summer months, along with Chastain cardboard cut-outs and watermelon bin posters.  Additionally, Chastain uses his large social media following to promote seat belt use in New York. 

“The easiest thing you can do to stay safe in a car is also the best way to save lives and reduce injuries in the event of a crash, wearing your seat belt.  Everyone in a vehicle must use a seat belt or be in an appropriate child restraint device.  The Sheriffs of New York State want you to wear your seat belt because it’s smart, it’s simple, and it’s the law,” said Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy, President of the NYS Sheriffs’ Association.

“For more than three decades, the New York State Police have been stressing the importance of safety restraint use in motor vehicles. By using safety belts and child safety seats properly, operators and passengers dramatically reduce their risk of severe injury or death when in a motor vehicle accident. Seatbelts save lives. We will continue to do our part to reduce senseless injuries and deaths that result from not buckling up and remind drivers: click it or ticket,” said New York State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett.