UB Police to enforce seat belt compliance, safe driving

Two UB Police officers stand outside their patrol vehicle which is parked outside Hayes Hall on a summer evening.

Release Date: March 25, 2015

“We want UB students, faculty, staff and visitors to be safe, so please don’t use your phone or electronic device while driving.”
Lt. Scott Bixby, University Police
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – University at Buffalo Police will once again mark the spring season by stepping up attention to seat belt compliance on campus, patrolling campus roadways and setting up checkpoints during peak traffic times.

Taking advantage of grants from Buckle Up New York and the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, UB Police will begin seat belt enforcement in mid-March and conclude in early May, according to Lt. Scott Bixby.

Police also will try to curtail dangerous and distracted driving, focusing on cell phone use and texting while driving.

“Distracted driving continues to be the leading cause of crashes in New York State and Erie County,” says Bixby. “We want UB students, faculty, staff and visitors to be safe, so please don’t use your phone or electronic device while driving.”

As of Nov. 1, New York increased penalties for cell phone and texting violation convictions, he notes.

“In addition to five points on your license, a first conviction carries a fine of $200, a second conviction is $250 and a third conviction is $450,” he says. “Add in the mandatory $93 New York court surcharge and increased car insurance premiums, and it’s just not worth the risk.”

University Police want all drivers on campus to wear their seat belts whenever their car is in motion, Bixby says. As the spring semester winds down, officers will actively enforce New York State seat belt laws on campus.

Bixby explains the increased enforcement will include seat belt checkpoints on Augspurger Road at Hadley Road and on Flint Road at Maple Road during peak traffic times. Officers dressed in plain clothes also will visually survey campus roadways.

“Statistics show that seat belts save lives,” Bixby says. “No trip is too short to skip the seatbelt, even if you’re just changing parking lots between classes or driving from your on-campus dorm or apartment. Be safe and buckle up.

“And remember,” he says. “click it or ticket.”

Traffic accidents on campus are not uncommon, police say, so motorists should take the same precautions they do on highways, especially the use of seat belts.

Enforcement to reduce distracted driving will be similar to efforts to enforce seat belt compliance. Bixby says the texting and cell phone enforcement activity will take place at Augspurger and Hadley roads during peak traffic times from early April to early May. The program will continue during the first four weeks of September.

“Technology is great,” he says. “But using your mobile device while driving is dangerous for you and the other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians using campus roadways.

“Please, if you need to make a call or send a message, proceed to a safe location and stop your vehicle.”

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