The Idaho Click It, Dont Risk It! Seat
Belt Summit March 17 will bring together safety professionals
from around the state to discuss preventing fatalities in
traffic crashes through proper use of seat belts and booster
Automobile collisions are the states leading cause
of accidental death.
ITDs Office of Highway Safety (OHS) will sponsor the
summit at the DoubleTree Riverside Hotel, 2900 Chinden Boulevard
than 200 people, including law enforcement officials from
Idaho State Police, county sheriffs offices and local
police departments, and representatives from 25 other agencies
with an interest in safety issues, are expected to attend
the daylong summit.
It will feature nationally recognized crash investigator
Rob Kaufman of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research
Center in Seattle. He will speak about a study that demonstrates
how unrestrained drivers and passengers in crashes can cause
fatal injuries to others who ride with them. The study was
the basis for an article in the Journal of the American Medical
Kaufman also will talk about numerous real-life crashes,
including information involving children in crashes and how
they should be protected.
Also featured at the summit will be a case study of Vermonts
successful seat belt campaign. Ted Minall of the Vermont Governors
Safety Program will examine how seat belt use in that state
has reached 85 percent. In Idaho, seat belt usage reached
72 percent in September 2003, an increase of nine percent
from the previous year. The national average is 79 percent.
This summit is all about saving lives, said Mary
Hunter, OHS Adult Occupant Protection Specialist. Buckling
up remains the single-best defense against serious injury
or death for you and your passengers, if youre involved
in a crash.
The greatest risk for child passengers is the lack
of any safety restraint use in a vehicle. We need to be responsible
for our children and take the time to buckle them up in restraints
that are appropriate for their size.
Working with law enforcement officers and highway safety
partners to spread this message is at the heart of the summit,
Other program highlights include:
The OHS received $480,000 in grant funds from the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The money will
be used to support a May Click It, Dont Risk It!
campaign, which will include a statewide media campaign and
efforts by state and local law enforcement dedicated to increasing
safety restraint use.
An average of five Idahoans are either killed or seriously
injured every day in traffic crashes. In 2002, 62 percent
of the 216 people who died in motor vehicle crashes in Idaho
were not wearing seat belts, according to OHS officials.
NHTSA estimates that half of those killed would have lived
had they been wearing safety restraints.