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Despite the high price of gasoline, plenty of people will be motoring somewhere for one last summer fling this holiday weekend.

KSL hopes they do it safely.

Speaking of safety, we’re encouraged by a recent study that says seatbelt use in Utah is up once again for the seventh straight year. The annual observation survey of 63-thousand drivers in six key counties showed 86-point-nine percent of drivers and front-seat passengers wear seatbelts.

That’s good news! Let’s keep the number growing!

On-the-other-hand, a national study showed Utah experienced a whopping 81 percent increase in the number of alcohol related traffic fatalities from 2003 to 2004. No other state experienced that kind of jump.

Granted, there’s a degree of solace in the study since the actual number of alcohol related fatalities is among the lowest in the nation. There were 36 in 2003 and 65 in 2004.

Still, any death caused by a drunk driver is one too many. In KSL’s view, the battle to combat drunk driving must continue unabated, especially now that a number of new laws have gone into effect to help law enforcement do their job.

So, as people head out this weekend, we encourage one and all to buckle up and to avoid driving after drinking. Let’s not have any needless fatalities this holiday weekend.

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