More than 100 law enforcement agencies across the state are joining forces to remind drivers to wear seat belts.
Wearing car seat belts correctly is the most important thing drivers and passengers can do to avoid serious injury or death in the event of a crash. Eighty nine percent of drivers buckle-up – the 11 percent who don’t are the focus of this year’s “Click It or Ticket” enforcement effort. State Troopers and local law enforcement hope those drivers will re-think going belt-free.
For drivers who don’t wear seat belts, a ticket should be the least of their worries. The un-belted account for 50 percent of fatalities “which is incredible,” says Colonel Daniel Fuhr of the Utah Highway Patrol. Crashes are the leading cause of death for people age 2 through 34 nationwide. Research shows that many are risk takers, young men, nighttime motorists, or child passengers driven by unsecured drivers.
Troopers often get the sad task of delivering death notifications to families who loose loved ones in a crash. “Let me set the stage for you,” says Fuhr, who solemnly tells how families are “absolutely devastated” by the sad news. When mothers, fathers and siblings see State Troopers accompanied by local law enforcement standing at their door, “they know the news is not good.”
Realizing that a family member will not be coming home is the first emotional blow; the pain of that loss lasts a lifetime. If drivers don’t want to wear seat belts to protect themselves, “think about it for their families,” says Fuhr.
Utah’s law enforcement community will be working extra seat-belt patrols May 23 through June 5, and while troopers will be issuing citations, the real objective of the Click It or Ticket effort is to save lives.
For more information, see the links below:
Crash Facts from the Utah Department of Public Safety
Utah Department Public Safety, Highway Safety Blog
Safety experts have know for a long time that seat belts save lives every day! The belts have changed but the message has stayed the same: