UHP reminds the public of seatbelt safety ahead of holiday travel
Nov 16, 2023, 3:10 PM | Updated: 3:45 pm
(AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
MURRAY — With the holidays and holiday travel right around the corner, road safety is top of mind.
Starting next week, Utah’s Department of Public Safety and Highway Patrol will be working more than a hundred more shifts to drive a message of safety home.
They want to see friends and family get where they are going safely. A lot of that starts by wearing a seatbelt.
Back in April 2022, Colton East lost some close friends.
“It’s just every time I get in the car, you know, whether it’s my family, my friends, anyone, I make sure everyone’s wearing their seat belt,” East said.
East’s close friend, Gage, Gage’s cousin River, and three friends were traveling in Box Elder County when they crashed and rolled several times.
No one in the car was wearing a seat belt. Gage and River were ejected and killed.
East said he and Gage spent lots of time on the ice together playing hockey.
“He was just a big presence in the locker room, especially during high school. He was our captain. I was assistant captain, so it was just great working with him,” East said.
DPS and UHP will be doubling down on their efforts for seatbelt safety November 22 – 26 as law enforcement agencies throughout the state will work more than 120 additional shifts to stop and educate drivers who are not buckled up.
Taking the two seconds to buckle up can make all the difference.
That’s all the time it takes to buckle your seat belt.
We’re hearing from Colton and Maddin, who lost their close friends, Gage and River, who weren’t buckled when they crashed and rolled several times.
— Karah Brackin (@kbontv) November 16, 2023
“It’s just been devastating. There’s no words to describe it,” East said.
UHP said this year, numbers show more people are buckling up.
This year alone, they said they have seen 92.4 percent in surveys of people that will wear seatbelts.
That is up from 2021 when surveys showed 88.2 percent.