ISP patrols emphasize safety, seat belt use

ITD is partnering with the Idaho State Police and other law enforcement agencies across Idaho to make highways safer by funding high-visibility seat belt patrols beginning today and continuing through Feb. 17.  During the campaign, officers will increase enforcement of traffic laws and cite those drivers or occupants who are not seat-belted.
In 2011, 77 Idahoans lost their lives in crashes when they were unrestrained. Studies show the use of seatbelts reduce by half the likelihood of serious injury or death in the event of a crash. 

This means there are nearly 40 lives that could have been saved in Idaho alone last year, if vehicle occupants had worn their seatbelts.  In addition, 278 Idahoans sustained critical injuries in crashes where they were unrestrained.

"Occupants in a vehicle who are unrestrained during a crash can move around in a vehicle like a projectile, potentially striking and injuring or killing other occupants in the car", says Sgt. Scott Zaugg. "The choice to wear a seatbelt is about personal accountability, not avoiding a citation; choose to wear your seatbelt so that you can protect your loved ones, remain in control of your vehicle, and avoid serious injury or death in the event of a crash."
The following data supports ISP's cause:
Statewide for 2011:

  • 77 occupants of Idaho passenger motor vehicles killed in car crashes were unrestrained (Idaho Traffic Crashes 2011, ITD)
  • Approximately 80 percent of fatal crashes occurred in rural areas (Idaho Traffic Crashes 2011, ITD)
  • According to NHTSA, seat belts are 50 percent effective in preventing fatalities/serious injuries. (Traffic Safety Facts 2003, NHTSA)
  • In Idaho in 2011, Idaho had a 79-percent observed seatbelt usage.  The 21 percent of Idahoans that did not wear their seatbelts accounted for approximately 46 percent of all traffic fatalities. (Idaho Traffic Crashes 2011, ITD)

Published 2-8-2013