Monday, February 4, 2013

ITD & ISP and local agencies to conduct seatbelt patrols

IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE - generated by our News Release ListServer

District 4 Patrol 218 West Yakima, Jerome, ID 83338-5904 (208) 324-6000
Fax (208) 324-7897

For Immediate Release: 2/04/2013 2:00 p.m.

Contact: Sgt. Michael Wendler
Idaho State Police - District 4


ITD, ISP Troopers, and local agencies partner to conduct seat belt patrols

February 8th - 17th

The Idaho Transportation Department is partnering with the Idaho State Police and other law enforcement agencies across Idaho to make our highways safer by funding high visibility seat belt patrols February 8th - 17th, 2013. During this 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 where they were unrestrained. Studies have shown seatbelts cut in 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, had they been wearing 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. Wendler. "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 our cause:

Statewide for 2011:

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