ST. GEORGE – Starting Monday and going through June 1, the St. George Police Department will be joining forces with the Utah Department of Public Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other police and sheriffs’ departments across the state to save lives on Utah roads and highways by working together to increase seat belt use.
Seat belts reduce the risk of injury and death by about 70 percent when used correctly, according to NHTSA. Buckling up not only saves lives, but it can save motorists from being pulled over. The St. George Police Department will be working overtime from Monday to June 1st ticketing anyone who isn’t wearing a seat belt, whether they’re in a car, truck or SUV.
When the Click it or Ticket campaign started in Utah in 2000, only 67.4 percent of Utahns were buckling up. By 2013, 82.4 percent of Utah motorists were buckling up. This tells us that more than a half-million more motorists are buckling up today than in 2000.
NHTSA estimates that the Click it or Ticket campaign and enforcement mobilization has helped save 1,738 lives in Utah. The increase in seat belt usage also saves money –in the form of wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, vehicle damage, employer costs, taxes, insurance premiums, travel delays and quality of life.
State law requires everyone in a vehicle to be secured by a seat belt. Children up to age 8 must be properly restrained in a child car seat or booster seat. The law provides for primary enforcement for individuals up to 19 or older. Enforcement by an officer can be only as a secondary action when the person has been detained for another offense.
Seat belt facts
- Of the 220 people killed in Utah in traffic crashes in 2013, 61 drivers and passengers were not restrained – Utah Highway Safety Office
- Of those killed in Utah who weren’t buckled up, 38 percent were between the ages of 18 and 34 – Utah Highway Safety Office
- Men use seat belts less often than women – 2013 Utah Seat Belt Observational Study
- Motorists in rural areas use seat belts less often, 70 percent, than motorists in urban areas, 85 percent
- Passengers are less likely to buckle up than drivers – 2012 Utah Crash Summary
Submitted by the St. George Police Department