We have had seat belts for more than 50 years and it is estimated they have saved a million lives.
Heading into the holiday season, the Bear River Health Department is encouraging us to not only buckle up, but to encourage everybody around us to do so.
Surveys indicate that in Cache and Box Elder Counties seat belt usage rates are at 86 percent.
“Over the years our seatbelt rates have increased,” said Allena Pierce, traffic injury program manager at the Bear River Health Department. “In 2000 Utah’s overall rates were under 70 percent. We are over 80 percent now in most areas of our state. So we have made a lot of progress and we want to continue that progress and keep family members safe.”
Bear River Health has encouraged moms and dads to make it a family rule to buckle up.
“Most parents will put their children in car seats and if they get into that habit when their children are young, and continue to reinforce that as they get older, then it is likely they will establish that as a healthy habit.”
Most parents are surprised to find that their children are not always safely secured in the car. But they can go to carseat check points.
“The health department does offer carseat checks at our Brigham City and Logan offices. We do that by appointment with a call to 435-792-6510. We will meet with parents, it usually takes 30-45 minutes. Three out of four of the child restraints that we see are incorrectly installed.”
Each year in Utah, it is estimated that more than 100 lives are saved on the roads by wearing seat belts and an additional 50 lives would have been saved “if only” a seat belt was worn.
Utah’s law is clear: all passengers must wear seat belts and children ages 8 or younger must be properly restrained in a car or booster seat. If anyone in the vehicle is not properly restrained the driver can be issued a $45 citation.