APD makes seat belt law priority - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

APD makes seat belt law priority

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January 8, 2003

Albany-- Police promise that 2003 will be the year all drivers get the message to "Buckle Up."

Officers kicked off a year long program to check Albany drivers for wearing their seat belts, and ticket those not wearing them.

An Albany police officers conducts a road check at Palmyra Road and West Fourth Avenue. "The seat belt will always save your life," he tells the driver. "It's the most important safety equipment you have in your vehicle. All right, have a good day."

The City of Albany had one of the highest seat belt rates in Georgia in 2001, 85 percent of all drivers. But as a state pilot program, Albany Police will try to push that usage to over 90 percent. So three or four days a week Police will be enforcing the seat belt law, handing out tickets.

Sgt. Leonard Bell said, "We're going to be out there strictly enforcing the seat belt laws. There is a better than average chance if your are not wearing your seat belt, you will get cited."

Officers are sneaky, too. They stand by the street, a block from the road check. They radio ahead to the other officers, identifying the cars with people not buckled up. They are given tickets at the check point.

Sgt. Bell says the seat belt program is important to him and the other officers, because it saves lives. "I've seen our fatality rates go down. The injuries are coming down. And that affects all Albanians as well as all Georgians."

The fine for driving without a seat belt in Albany is $15.00. If a child is not buckled up, the fine is at least $48.00.

posted at 4:25PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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