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Police Plan Blitz For Labor Day Holiday

State and local police plan various enforcement efforts to underscore the importance of safe driving over the long Labor Day holiday weekend, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT).

Targets of the intense effort include unbelted drivers, drunk drivers, speeders, tailgaters, red light runners, those who failed to use turn signals and drivers who transport children who are not in car seats or booster seats.

Along with the State Police, participating will be police departments from Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne and Wyoming counties.

The three-day enforcement "blitz" was planned by Buckle UP Pennsylvania, which is a joint seat belt education and enforcement effort by local law enforcement agencies, the Pennsylvania State Police, PENNDOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It's part of a nationwide campaign to increase seat belt use to 90 percent by 2007.

"Motorists need a strong reminder to obey traffic laws and to buckle up," said Bob Webre, law enforcement liaison for the Northeastern Pennsylvania region of Buckle UP Pennsylvania. "Buckling up alone increases the chance of survival in a crash by up to 60 percent.

Seatbelt compliance rates in Pennsylvania have risen from 70.67 in December 2000 to an all-time high of 78.99 in 2003. "This has saved countless lives and injuries," Webre said.

Participating police departments from Lackawanna County include Archbald, Dunmore, Moosic, Old Forge, Olyphant, Scranton and South Abington Township. Luzerne County police departments include Dupont, Duryea, Exeter Borough, Hazleton, Kingston Township, Laflin, Pittston City, Sugarloaf Township, West Pittston and Wilkes-Barre Township. In addition, participating will be the Honesdale Police Department, Wayne County, and the Tunkhannock Police Department, Wyoming County.

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