IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Idaho State Police are teaming up with other local and state agencies to enforce seat belt use in their latest campaign, Click It or Ticket, running from May 21 – June
“The Click It or Ticket campaign is really a cooperative effort between all of our city police departments, our county agencies, the Idaho State Police, we are all working together to really promote traffic safety out here and human safety through our Click It or Ticket campaign,” Idaho State Police Lieutenant Chis Weadick told KID Newsradio. “It doesn’t matter how big the agency or how small the agency is, we’re all out here trying to do the same thing with the same goal in mind and that is to promote our traffic safety efforts out here and to keep our highways safe.”
Idaho ranks among some of the lowest states for seat belt use. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Idaho is among 14 states with seat belt use below 85 percent.
“I would love to have our seat belt usage rate at a hundred percent,” Weadick said. “I know that that is unrealistic. But, if we could have it even in the upper nineties that would be fantastic. Sometimes in southeast Idaho has some of the lower seat belt usage percentage rates in the state of Idaho and we’re trying to change that.”
While some may believe seat belts aren’t as useful as law enforcement may emphasize, Weadick said he continues to see the impact of wearing a seat belt, or sometimes more tragically, not wearing a seat belt can have in an accident.
“Seat belts truly do save lives,” Weadick said. “I have personally seen a number of very serious crashes where the occupants have walked away literally with bumps and bruises because of their seat belts, because of their airbags. I’ve also seen the same type of crashes with the same type of dynamics end with catastrophic results and fatalities, and severe injuries because the occupants were not buckled. I know first hand that see belts truly do save lives. It only takes just a couple seconds to do it and it’s well worth it in the long run.”
The campaign initiative began on May 21 and will include increased officer presence to enforce seat belt usage as people gear up to travel for Memorial Day weekend.
“We are putting extra troopers, we’re putting extra law enforcement personnel statewide out on our roads to intercept drivers and passengers that aren’t wearing their seat belts because we’re finding that a lot of our crashes are having severe injuries and sometimes catastrophic results because the occupants are buckled up,” Weadick said. “We’ve got one of the busiest travel days of the year coming up this next Friday as well as the Monday as people return from Memorial day weekend and we’re finding that a lot of our crashes is that the occupants aren’t buckled up and we’re seeing a lot of unnecessary injuries and even fatal crashes and so we’re out there targeting that violation to just really try to promote this traffic safety.”