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Thursday July 29, 2021 Salt Lake City, UT

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Press Release

Protecting Utah

Multi-State Campaign to Raise Awareness of Seat Belt Safety

Thursday July 1, 2021

For Immediate Release

Multistate campaign to raise awareness of seat belt safety

Utah Highway Patrol joins forces with neighboring states to increase seat belt use and reduce out-of-state traveler’s fatalities during summer travel

WHO: Colonel Michael Rapich, Utah Highway Patrol

WHEN: July 1st, 2021
Availability for phone or in-person interviews with Colonel Rapich, call PIO for scheduling

WHERE: UHP Headquarters, 4501 S 2700 W, Taylorsville, UT 84119

VISUALS: Press Kit via Google Drive Link

Video clips and short PSA from Utah and Colorado State Patrol Colonel’s seat belt message
Photos of both state patrols meeting at the Colorado/Utah Border on I-70
Highway VMS digital signs will say “Welcome to Utah, Buckle Up” near Utah’s borders on Thursday

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AHNbLgeNhyt6CK4MRBQwAssytMnJg4C6?usp=sharing

WHY: 

[Grand County, Utah] — Be a good neighbor and buckle up. State transportation and law enforcement agencies from Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming are coming together to remind travelers to fasten their seat belts. The State2State. Buckle up campaign warns both drivers and passengers to stay buckled no matter what state they are in or how far they are traveling.  The campaign coincides with the national Click It Or Ticket seat belt enforcement period, which began May 24. 

UHP will alert travelers on social media and on digital highway signs on the importance of buckling up. Between 2017 and 2020, there were 78 deaths on Utah highways involving unbuckled people traveling from another state.  The Utah Highway Safety Office reports that 75% of out-of-state fatalities were unbuckled in 2020. (A 32% increase compared to the previous year)

Utah’s current seat belt use rate is 90.2%, near the national average of 90%. To help make Utah’s roads a safer place, The Utah Highway Patrol encourages all drivers and passengers to do their part and buckle up no matter what state they call home. 

“As the summer travel season continues, we are going to see more visitors from neighboring states coming to Utah. We want those travelers to arrive safe so they don’t miss anything our amazing state has to offer. Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to prevent injury or death in a crash,” said UHP Colonel Michael Rapich. 

“We see the consequences of people failing to make that choice to buckle their seatbelt every day.  Our troopers are responding to horrific crashes that could have simply been prevented by just putting on your seat belt. It takes two seconds of your time to make a lifetime of difference, buckle up,” said Colorado State Patrol Colonel Matthew Packard.  Seat belts reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash by 50%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

High-visibility seat belt enforcement is necessary 24 hours a day, but nighttime is especially deadly for unbuckled occupants. In 2019, 55% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. 

Click It or Ticket isn’t about citations; it’s about saving lives. In 2019, there were 9,466 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. To help prevent crash fatalities, we are increasing seat belt enforcement day and night.

Learn more about the Click It or Ticket mobilization at www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.
Photos and local crash data courtesy of the Utah Highway Safety Office, Utah Department of Public Safety

MEDIA CONTACT 

Sgt. Cameron Roden, Public Information Officer

Utah Highway Patrol 

801-554-5659

croden@utah.gov

STATE2STATE. BUCKLE UP. 

“State2State. Buckle up” is a multi-state seat belt safety campaign led by local transportation and law enforcement agencies from Utah, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Wyoming.  The summer-long seat belt awareness launches alongside National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) and the Utah Click It or Ticket May seat belt enforcement period. 

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MEDIA CONTACT

Joe Dougherty
DPS Public Affairs Director
Department of Public Safety
JDOUGHERTY@UTAH.GOV

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