Local schools and the PennDoT are making it a point to educate young drivers and other motorists about the importance of seat belts. The state is currently advising local police from all over to keep a watchful eye on drivers who fail to follow seatbelt laws. PennDoT says that the plan this spring is to target the many Pennsylvanians who don't wear seat belts and fining them in the hopes that they will begin taking the time to buckle their seatbelts before the car is in motion.
PennDoT reports that there were nearly 1500 automobile accident deaths in Pennsylvania last in 2014. PennDoT says that about 50% of people who died were not wearing seat belts. Although the percentage of car accident deaths of teens is generally between 5% and 10%, PennDoT says that usually approximately 80% of teens who died were not wearing seatbelts at the time of their deaths. Pennsylvania state laws requires anyone in a vehicle below the age of 18 to wear a seatbelt, making a violation of that law a primary offense. This means that someone can be pulled over on the grounds that underage passengers in the vehicle are not wearing seatbelts.
While the statewide crackdown on drivers will last most of spring, local police are focusing intensive observation on teens until the start of May. Over the next month, many departments will set up alongside roads where high school students generally take to get to school. A spokesperson for PennDoT said that this is not some arbitrary driving tax being put into place to boost the revenue of local stations, but ticketing teens for upwards to $100 it will teach them a lesson and hopefully result in car accidents where teens are not hurt or killed. PennDoT hopes that parents back up the cause by reminding their children to wear seat belts and by making them work to pay off the fine if they are caught not wearing a buckle.