Seat belt enforcement campaign underway

Posted at 1:51 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 15:51:32-04

Starting today, police all across Idaho will be especially watchful for drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belts.

The effort is part of a “Coast-to-Coast” campaign encouraging all law enforcement agencies to encourage seat belt use.

The campaign runs through May 30th.

Officials are calling it a “high-visibility mobilization effort,” with officers dedicating extra hours to educate citizens about the state’s safety restraint law.

“Nearly eight out of ten Idahoans are buckling up because it’s the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash. And, it’s the right thing to do for your family and community,” said Sherry Jenkins, spokeswoman for the Idaho Transportation Department’s Office of Highway Safety. 

“Many people tend to think that they don’t need to buckle up,” she said. “They think they are invincible. They are not.”

“Young adults are dying at a disproportionate rate because they are not wearing their seat belts. Men are dying in vehicle crashes twice as much as women, and wearing their seat belts less than women. Pickup truck occupants think that they don’t need to wear their seat belts because they believe their large vehicle will protect them in a crash. They are dying as well,” she explained.

“The people killed are not just numbers. They were family members that never made it home,” said Jenkins. “They left behind families who mourn their loss."

Reports say last year 93 unrestrained people, including children, were killed in Idaho traffic crashes.

State law requires all vehicle occupants to be properly restrained, no matter where they are seated. Fines for violating Idaho’s safety restraint laws range from $10 to $69.