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Buckling Up

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Utah motorists deserve a collective pat on the back!

Seatbelt use in the Beehive State is at an all-time high. The latest figures from the Utah Highway Safety Office show 85.2 percent of those who ride in motor vehicles buckle-up. That’s up five percent over a year ago. And it is remarkably higher than when safety officials began doing observational surveys in 1986. Then only 18 percent of those on the highways wore safety restraints.

It has taken a generation, but it is clear the seatbelt safety message is getting through.

Good thing! Lives are being saved and injuries prevented. In fact, compared to belted crash occupants, those who don’t buckle-up are 12 times more likely to die in a crash.

It is especially gratifying to know that nearly 90-percent of children age 4 and younger are properly restrained in child safety seats. Who can say how many lives will be prolonged in the future because of that learned behavior from infancy!

Give credit for such dramatic improvement to a safety belt use law passed in 1986, along with a series of effective media campaigns and a variety of educational programs conducted throughout the state.

Now, let’s get the 15-percent who still resist using seatbelts to see the light!

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