TICONDEROGA More than 15,000 passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. during 2005, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and 59 percent of those passenger vehicle occupants killed were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash. The proportion of unbuckled deaths at night is considerably higher than the 44 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were not wearing their seats belts and were killed during daytime hours across the nation that same year. Thats why the Ticonderoga Police Department has announced its is joining with state and local law enforcement and highway safety officials during mid-November to launch an aggressive Buckle Up New York seat belt enforcement mobilization to crack down on low seat belt use and to reduce highway fatalities with a new emphasis this year on convincing more motorists to buckle up day and night. Clearly more drivers at night than during the day are taking the attitude that it will never happen to me, but the risk of a fatal crash actually goes up significantly at night, Sgt. Mark Johns of the Ti PD said. Thats why beginning mid-November, well be buckling down to make sure that all passengers, in all vehicles, are buckled up day and night. Buckle Up New York local program coordinator Patrolman Randy Bevins of the Ti PD said regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. He said that in 2005, 77 percent of passenger vehicle occupants in a serious crash who were buckled up, survived the crash, and that when worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and mini-vans. Yet nearly one in five Americans (19 percent nationally) still fail to regularly wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle according to NHTSAs observational seat belt studies. The Ticonderoga Police Department has been awarded a grant from the State of New York Governors Traffic Safety Committee to pay for enhanced seat belt compliance enforcement. Stepped-up law enforcement activities will be conducted during the state wide Buckle up New York enforcement mobilization, which runs November 12th 25th. Roadway safety checks will be used as well as dedicated seat belt saturation patrols. The mobilization is being supported by state and local law enforcement agencies to encourage all motorists to always buckle up. I dont like to write people tickets, but I would rather write a thousand tickets than inform a relative that they lost a loved one in a crash because they were not buckled up. Seat belts clearly save lives. Unfortunately, too many folks still need a tough reminder, so we are going to be out in force buckling down on those who are not buckled up, said Bevins. Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing, but the cost for not wearing it certainly will. So unless you want to risk a ticket, or worse your life, please remember to buckle up day and night, Click It or Ticket.