ST. GEORGE – –According to a release issued today, the St. George Police Department will join local and national law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across Utah and the country for the 2013 national “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt enforcement mobilization, May 20-June 2.
“Wearing a seatbelt isn’t just important on fast moving highways, in urban areas, or during congestion,” the police release stated, “motorists die on our state’s roadways all times of day, all days of the week, and on all types of roads. Buckling up is one of the best ways to prevent injury and death in car crashes. This is why officers will be cracking down on motorists who fail to wear their seatbelts – during day and nighttime hours and in urban and rural communities statewide.”
Targeting drivers of pickup trucks
With almost 600,000 pickups in Utah – roughly one of every four registered vehicles – this year’s campaign will emphasize the importance of buckling up to motorists who drive or ride in pickups. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, pickup drivers and passengers use seat belts at a lower rate than others:
• 69.3 percent of pickup drivers and passengers buckle up compared to 86 percent of other drivers and passengers.
• Only 55.6 percent of pickup drivers and passengers in rural areas buckle up and only 74.1 percent of pickup drivers and passengers in urban areas buckle up.
On an average day in Utah, there are 143 motor vehicle crashes involving 353 people, resulting in 61 injuries and 1 death. In Utah, unbuckled motorists were 40 times more likely to die in a crash than belted motorists.
“So, if you ride unbuckled, you are playing with your own life,” the police release said, “and the lives you may leave behind in the event of a fatal crash.”
Enforcement programs work
High-visibility enforcement such as the “Click It or Ticket” mobilization is credited with helping to increase the state’s belt usage rate from 67.4 percent in 2000 to an observed rate of 81.9 percent in 2012.
Belt use saves thousands of lives each year across America and seatbelts have saved an estimated 1,502 lives in Utah since 2000.
The St George Police Department is strongly supporting enhanced enforcement of the seat belt laws. It urges:
Remember: It’s Click It or Ticket. Buckle up and encourage your loved ones to do the same. You’ll save the cost of a ticket and my even save a life.
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