Teen Buckle-Up initiative will start on Monday

School is open and students are driving.

Police are planning to make sure those young people are buckling their seat belts.

Starting Monday, the Youngsville Borough Police Department will be participating in the statewide Buckle Up Pennsylvania Teen Mobilization.

For two weeks – through Sept. 22 – officers will be out, pulling over motorists they believe to be under the age of 18 and not wearing safety belts. “For anyone under 18, it is a primary offense,” Officer Benjamin Leach said.

They will focus on the areas around schools.

The mobilization is funded by PennDOT’s Pennsylvania Traffic Safety Enforcement program.

“All the money will be spent on overtime,” Leach said. “We’ll add it on to our 40-hour week… over and beyond we’re going to be doing the safety check.”

Every person stopped, whether they are cited or not, will receive a “no exceptions” flyer, Leach said. Those flyers will also be distributed at Youngsville High School by students in the Students Against Destructive Decisions program.

Officers will also hold programs like Survival 101, which introduces safe driving techniques to the students.

But the effort is not about generating revenue. The goal is to make sure more young drivers are wearing their safety belts.

“It saves lives,” Leach said. “That’s why we’re all doing it.”

The statewide goals for the program are to reach 200,000 students at 230 schools and campuses.

A bill signed by Gov. Tom Corbett in 2011 strengthened some of the driving rules related to teen drivers. One of the changes made in the so-called Lacey’s Law was making not wearing a seat belt a primary offense punishable by a $75 fine for minors.