Local Municipal Police Departments Join to Raise
Awareness of Seat Belt Laws
September 27, 2013
Clearfield – Two local police
departments partnered last week to remind teens of Pennsylvania’s seat belt
Borough Police Department conducted a detail, with cooperation from the Lawrence
Township Police Department, at the Clearfield Area High School as students were
dismissed. The effort was coordinated through Buckle Up PA, a PennDOT-funded
project that is dedicated to raising the level of seat belt usage through
increased enforcement, public awareness and education.
at the school yesterday provided informational fliers to motorists as they left
the parking lot. Teen drivers and passengers in vehicles’ front seats were
observed, with 100 percent of those observed using a seat belt.
Clearfield Borough Police Department was one of 220 law enforcement agencies
across the state awarded funds for a special Teen Seat Belt Mobilization -- this
targeted program was created with a plan to focus on young drivers and young
it comes down to saving lives,” said Nathan Curry, patrolman for Clearfield
Pennsylvania last year, 106 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed in
crashes. Of those teens, 92 were not wearing a seat belt, and 68 of those were
also the driver.
Teen drivers must follow Act 81 of
2011, which went into effect Dec. 21, 2011. The law provides for increased
restrictions on new drivers, including:
Elevation of violation for failure of driver or passenger who is under the
age of 18 to wear a seat belt.
The violation is now a primary offense, meaning
a minor driver can be stopped by law enforcement without committing any other
violations. Increasing from 50 hours to 65 hours of behind-the-wheel skill building on
learner’s permit. Limiting the number of passengers for those holding a junior driver’s
license. During the first six months of holding a junior driver’s license, drivers
under the age of 18 are not permitted to have more than one passenger under the
age of 18 who is not an immediate family member unless they are accompanied by
a parent or legal guardian.
If a minor driver has not been convicted of a
driving violation or been partially or fully responsible for a reportable crash
after six months, they may have up to three passengers under age 18 who are not
immediate family members without a parent or legal guardian present. If they
have any convictions or are partially or fully responsible for a reportable
crash while a junior driver, they are once again restricted to one passenger.
The fine for conviction of a seat
belt law violation in Pennsylvania is $60 for teens.
seat-belt usage rate was 83.5 percent in 2012, a decrease from 83.8 percent in