Statewide seat belt enforcement campaign to begin
Idaho law enforcement officers will increase patrols in an effort to reduce motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries throughout the state during a focused seat belt enforcement campaign. The campaign begins Monday (May 19) and continues until June 1.
The Idaho State Police and an estimated 30 law enforcement agencies statewide will work overtime to educate Idahoans and to strictly enforce the state's seat belt law during the 14-day period that includes Memorial Day weekend.
Idaho 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.
"People spend more time driving during the summer months and, historically, more fatal and serious injury crashes occur during this time," said Kevin Bittner, with ITD's Office of Highway Operations and Safety.
"Last year, Idaho recorded 114 fatalities of unbelted occupants - 76 of those happened in June, July and August," Bittner said. "This is the time of year to remind drivers to buckle up and make sure everyone traveling in a motor vehicle is buckled up as well."
The rate of observed seat belt use in the state ranges from 87 percent in the Idaho Panhandle to 60 percent in southeastern Idaho, according to ITD statistics.
"It is a simple thing to buckle up every time you get into a vehicle," Bittner said. "The consequences of not doing so could be life-altering, if not deadly."
The increased patrols are part of the Idaho "Click it, Don't Risk it!" seat belt safety campaign and are intended to save lives and reduce costs to society associated with traffic crashes, Bittner explained.
For more information, contact ITD's Office of Highway Operations and Safety at (208) 334-8100 or go to itd.idaho.gov and click on "Highways" and then "Office of Highway Safety Home Page."