Nine people died and 351 others were injured in 783 crashes investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police during the Sept. 2 – Sept. 5 Labor Day holiday driving period, Commissioner Frank Noonan said today.

Of the total crashes, 80 were alcohol-related, including five of the fatal crashes.

"All of those killed over the weekend were not wearing seat belts," Noonan said. "It astonishes me that in 2011, some people still don't use seat belts. Please buckle up; not only is it the law, seat belts really do save lives."

Failure to properly wear a seat belt remains one of the leading causes of death and serious injury in crashes. Troopers cited 673 people for failing to wear seat belts.

During the four-day holiday travel period, troopers arrested 438 persons for driving under the influence, issued 6,713 speeding citations, and issued 102 citations for not securing children in safety seats.

"Drivers must insist that all passengers wear a seat belt," said Noonan. "They work best when everyone is buckled and children are properly restrained in the back seat."

State law requires that children under the age of 4 ride in a federally-approved car seat that is appropriate for the child's age, height and weight. Children between the ages of 4 and 8 must use a booster seat if they are no longer in a car seat. State law also requires children between the ages of 8 and 18 must use a seat belt whenever they are riding in a vehicle, regardless of seating position.

During last year's Labor Day holiday travel period (Sept. 3-6, 2010), nine people died and 271 others were injured in 754 crashes investigated by troopers.

The statistics include only those incidents investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police and do not include data from incidents to which other law enforcement agencies responded.

Learn more about the PA State Police online at www.psp.state.pa.us.