The Utah Highway Patrol, Utah Department of Public Safety, and the Utah Department of Transportation are making an increased effort to encourage Utahns to put on their seatbelts.
The campaign began Monday and runs until June 5.
The campaign is timely, because seat belt use has dropped in the past few years.
DPS reported that in 2019, 90% of those who drive or ride in vehicles used their seatbelts. In 2021, that number dropped to 88%.
“The consequence of fewer people buckling up has resulted in an increase in fatalities,” DPS wrote in a press release on their website at dpsnews.utah.gov.
They also reported that nearly 50% of the fatalities in the first quarter of 2022 — January through March — were unbuckled and over the last five years, unrestrained fatalities accounted for 47% of total vehicle roadway deaths in Utah, and 49% of driver fatalities.
During the campaign, 52 law enforcement agencies throughout Utah, including those in Tooele County, will work 480 additional shifts to stop and educate motorists who aren’t wearing a seat belt.
DPS has also launched a new campaign featuring the Grim Reaper attempting to persuade drivers to not properly buckle up, with a call to action to “cheat death.” The campaign can be seen on billboards and social media.