On November 16th, the Utah Highway Patrol will join law enforcement agencies throughout Utah and its six neighboring states for a Border to Border (B2B) event to kick off the annual Click It or Ticket seat belt campaign. Law enforcement agencies will send a zero-tolerance message to the public: driving or riding unbuckled will result in a ticket, no matter what state. The campaign will run through November 29th.
Utah is partnering with law enforcement agencies in Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Arizona. Participating agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Utah, not wearing a seat belt is a primary offense and can result in a $45 fine. However, the maximum penalty for not wearing a seat belt could be fatal. Police statewide will work more than 775 additional shifts focused on high-visibility enforcement to stop and educate motorists who aren’t wearing a seat belt.
According to NHTSA, in 2018, there were 9,778 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 56 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night were not wearing their seat belts. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign and the B2B kickoff event is nighttime enforcement. Here in Utah, 33.8% of deaths were unbuckled on Utah roadways. During 2019, the highest percentage of unrestrained injured crash occupants were 15-19 years old. Additionally, 32% of teenage fatalities were unrestrained, and nearly 69% of unrestrained fatalities were male.
“The Border to Border component of the Click It or Ticket campaign is so important because it raises awareness about seat belt safety and reminds people that seat belts aren’t optional,” said Utah Highway Patrol Colonel Michael Rapich. “The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Families may be heading out to spend time with their loved ones, so it’s imperative we get the word out about the importance of seat belts.”
“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member dies due to this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone—front seat and back, child and adult—needs to remember to buckle up—every trip, every time,” said Colonel Rapich.