Utah weekend seat belt blitz starts Friday

Mar 22, 2024, 11:11 AM | Updated: 12:02 pm

FILE — A seat belt for the right front passenger seat is shown in a vehicle on Monday, Aug. 21, ...

FILE — A seat belt for the right front passenger seat is shown in a vehicle on Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. The Department of Transportation is proposing new rules designed to encourage seat belt use by car and truck passengers, including those sitting in the back seat. The new rules proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would require manufacturers to equip vehicles with additional seat belt warning systems for the right front passenger and for rear seats to encourage increased seat belt use. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

(AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

SALT LAKE CITY — Law enforcement agencies across Utah will be stepping up enforcement of Utah’s seat belt laws from Friday, March 22 through Monday, March 24. The Utah Department of Public Safety is trying to make it difficult for anyone to claim they weren’t warned.

The department said 18 agencies around the state will work more than 120 overtime shifts this weekend to stop and educate motorists who aren’t wearing seat belts. It is also running a “Defy Death” campaign on social platforms featuring the Grim Reaper trying to persuade drivers not to buckle up.

UPDATE: Multi-vehicle crash kills three on Mountain View Corridor, victim’s identified

It is hoped the message will reach those who resist the standard “Click It or Ticket” message, DPS said.

MORE information about traffic and roads.

Sgt. Cameron Roden with the Utah Highway Patrol said over the last five years nearly a third of occupants killed in roadway deaths were not wearing seatbelts, but in 2023, it was even higher at 43%.

“Seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device by helping occupants stay in place, avoid becoming projectiles, and help drivers maintain control of the vehicle in a crash,” Roden said. “They save about 15,000 lives a year.”

Seat belt use was up to 92.4% in 2023, according to DPS statistics, making the unrestrained deaths more telling.

In 2023, there were 64 people killed without seat belts and more than half happened between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., when there is less traffic and more unrestrained deaths because, DPS said, during those hours seat belt use tends to decrease.

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Utah weekend seat belt blitz starts Friday