Click it to protect lives, reduce injuries, save money
Protecting lives, reducing serious injury and saving Idaho money may be as simple as clicking a seat belt so ITD will support efforts by law enforcement agencies throughout the state to increase Idahoans’ safety restraint use. A special law enforcement mobilization begins Monday and will continue through June 6 to increase seat belt use.
More than 65 Idaho law enforcement agencies will participate in the high-visibility mobilization effort with officers dedicating extra hours to educate citizens and to strictly enforce the state’s safety restraint law during the 14-day period that includes Memorial Day.
“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 Lisa Losness, with ITD’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety. “Failing to wear a seat belt puts you and your passengers at risk for serious injury or death.”
Last year, 85 unrestrained people were killed in Idaho traffic crashes. State law requires all vehicle occupants to be properly restrained, no matter where they are seated. Fines and fees for violating Idaho’s safety restraint laws range from $10 to $69.
“The people killed are not just numbers. They were family members that never made it home,” explained Losness. “They leave behind families who mourn their loss.”
Decisions to not buckle up also cost Idahoans money. U.S. Department of Transportation studies show that safety restraint use in Idaho saved $260 million in comprehensive costs in 2007 alone. However, the lack of safety restraint use by Idahoans cost citizens of the state nearly $48 million in preventable emergency, medical and social costs.
“ITD is committed to achieving its ‘Toward Zero Deaths’ safety campaign goal of no deaths on Idaho highways, because every life counts,” Losness said.