Seat belts save lives! ‘Click it or ticket’ seat belt enforcement

ST. GEORGE – From May 21 to June 3, 2012, the St. George Police Department will be participating in the nationwide “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

The campaign encourages all motorists to always buckle up – every time, day and night.  Utah’s safety belt law states that drivers and passengers must wear a seat belt and that children up to 8 years old must be properly restrained in a child seat or booster seat.  Utah law provides for primary enforcement for individuals up to 19 years of age.  For a person age 19 or older, enforcement by an officer can only be as a secondary action when the person has been detained for another offense.

Nearly 300,000 Utah motorists still fail to regularly wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Research has shown that many people who continue to ride unprotected are risk takers, young, male, nighttime motorists, or are child passengers in vehicles driven by an unbuckled adult.

• According to a University of North Carolina study, unbuckled drivers are more likely to be male, be less educated, have numerous traffic violations (DUI, speeding, etc.), and have no health insurance.

• Young people ages 15 to 24 years old were reported to have the lowest observed seat belt usage rate of any other age group across the nation.

• Nighttime driving is much more dangerous than daytime driving and seat belt use at night is lower. In Utah, people in crashes during the nighttime hours of 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. were 2.4 times less likely to wear a seat belt than people in crashes during the rest of the day.

• People who don’t buckle up are less likely to require their children to buckle up. A study conducted by the National Safety Council found that child passengers of adults who were unbuckled were also unbuckled in 75 percent of the cases.

St. George police officers will be participating in “zero tolerance” seat belt focused patrols.  The goal of the campaign is to save lives.  Please wear your seat belts whenever you are driving or riding in a vehicle.

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