News / Utah / 

Utah Safety Belt Use Above Average

Utah Safety Belt Use Above Average



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah drivers and their passengers use their seat belts at a rate higher than the national average, a new federal study says.

About 87 percent of Utahns regularly buckle up. Nationally, 82 percent of drivers and passengers do, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation study issued Friday. Utah placed 11th overall in the rankings.

"We're pleased with the numbers," said Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Wade Breur. "However, we know that there's more to be done with seat belts. The work's not done until there's 100 percent total compliance."

Seat belt usage rose in 34 states, including Utah, this year, the study shows.

"It's good to see more people taking their safety seriously, but we'll save the celebration for the day when everyone buckles up," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta.

Mississippi reported the lowest usage rate at about 61 percent. Hawaii scored the highest, with 95.3 percent of drivers and their passengers buckling up.

Seat belt use is a secondary law in Utah, meaning that police can't stop an adult driver for not wearing a safety belt, although a driver can be ticketed when stopped for another infraction.

With a national usage rate of 82 percent, federal transportation officials estimate that seat belts annually prevent 15,700 fatalities, 350,000 serious injuries and some $67 billion in economic costs related to traffic injuries and deaths.

------

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast