(April 28, 2014) – As warm weather approaches, the Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens of the recent legislative changes prohibiting passengers from riding unrestrained in the beds of pick-up trucks on Ocean City roadways. In January, the Mayor and City Council voted this change into effect to enhance public safety and prevent serious injuries that could result from riding unrestrained in an unenclosed area of motor vehicles. A violation of this ordinance could result in a fine of up to $250.

Ocean City citizens are reminded that the new ordinance falls under the town code “Seat Belts” division and reads that “a person may not ride or allow another person to ride in the unenclosed area of a motor vehicle except in a seat and with a seat belt in use.”

“This is another step we are taking to make Ocean City roadways safer,” said Chief Ross Buzzuro. “In 2013, Ocean City experienced 504 reportable traffic collisions. If one collision involved a pickup truck that was full of unsecured passengers, it could be tragic. This new ordinance will prevent that.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelts saved an estimated 12,174 lives nationwide in 2012. The NHTSA also says that seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle collisions.