If you’re traveling for Memorial Day weekend, make sure you wear your seat belt.  From now until June 1st, police officers in Maine will be stepping up their efforts to nab offenders of the state’s seat belt law, as part of the “Buckle Up, No Excuses” campaign.  The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety recently distributed $178,000 in federal highway safety funding to help pay overtime to police officers during the campaign.

In 1984, New York became the first state to enact a law that required seat belt use.  Maine passed its seat belt law for all drivers and passengers in 1995.  Studies have shown that seat belt laws have dramatically reduced the amount of deaths and injuries caused by auto accidents.  So far in 2013, approximately 30 people have died in car accidents in Maine.  15 of these people were not wearing seat belts.

The “Buckle Up, No Excuses” campaign coincides with the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign, that encourages drivers to buckle up or risk fines.  In Maine, the first offense carries a fine of $70.  Second offenses cost $160 and the third offense costs $310.  Last summer’s campaign resulted in 769 summonses.

Don’t risk a ticket – or your life – by going unbuckled.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend!