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Buckle up on every trip

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Idaho State Police want to remind motorists to "Click It or Ticket." In order to enforce this reminder, ISP will be stepping up enforcement of Idaho's seatbelt law today through June 1st. ISP's efforts are part of a larger, national "Click It or Ticket" mobilization to encourage everyone to buckle up as motorists take to the roads to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend.

"Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer vacation season, and we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound," said Lt. Allen Oswald. "If you are not wearing your seat belt and you are stopped by one of our Troopers, do not expect a warning. Drivers and passengers over 18 that are not buckled will receive separate tickets."

According to new data released from the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities are up nationwide for the first time in five years. In 2012, 10,335 people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts. NHTSA data also details how more traffic vehicle deaths occur at night. In 2012, 61 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed during the nighttime hours of 6:00 p.m. - 5:59 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts. Statistics from 2012 show a lower usage rate for occupants of pickup trucks than other types of passenger vehicles with use rates as low as 50.4% in some parts of Idaho. Additionally, nationwide young adults are dying at a disproportionate rate because they are not wearing their seat belts. Sixty-two percent of 18 to 34-year-olds killed in passenger vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts. Lastly, twice as many men were killed in crashes than women, while men are less likely than women to wear their seatbelt.

"In 2012, 77 of the 135 people over the age of 7 killed in passenger vehicle crashes in Idaho were not wearing seatbelts. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if people had simply buckled up. We are determined to help bring these numbers down," said Lt. Oswald. "There are too many people dying on the roads, and many of those deaths could have been prevented if people took the simple step of wearing their seat belt. While we are reminding motorists to buckle up during these two weeks, we will be handing out tickets year-round to those who still haven't gotten the message."

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