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Police to step up seat-belt enforcement

November 19, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Maryland State Police at the Hagerstown barracks are putting extra resources toward seat-belt law enforcement through Thanksgiving in a program that began Monday.

The "Click It or Ticket" campaign is part of local State Police efforts to target aggressive driving during the holiday, said Capt. Rob Turano of the Hagerstown barracks.

The seat-belt efforts are part a national movement over the holiday weekend to target young drivers with the message of the importance of using seat belts, according to a news release.

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Turano said there will be additional troopers on the roads, thanks to overtime grants, and there will be teams of troopers along the interstate highways looking for seat-belt law violators, speeders and drunken drivers.

A seat-belt violation will cost drivers $25 for each infraction, Turano said, and it is a primary offense, meaning police can pull drivers over for just that infraction.

Maryland seat-belt laws state that all drivers and front-seat passengers older than 16 must wear seat belts, or the driver and passenger could be fined.

All passengers younger than 16 must either wear seat belts or be placed in child safety seats, or the driver could be fined $48.

Police will step up enforcement specifically Nov. 26 and 28 because of increased traffic on both days around Thanksgiving.

"Anything we can do to ensure people are driving safe is what we want to do," Turano said.

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