Morgan County Sheriff’s Office will join local and national law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates all across Utah and the country for the 2013 national Click It or Ticket seatbelt enforcement mobilization, May 20 to June 2. Wearing a seatbelt isn’t just important on fast moving highways, in urban areas, or during congestion. Motorists die on our state’s roadways all times of day, all days of the week, and on all types of roads. Buckling up is one of the best ways to prevent injury and death in car crashes. This is why officers will be cracking down on motorists who fail to wear their seatbelts Ò during day and nighttime hours and in urban and rural communities statewide. With almost 600,000 pickups in UtahÓroughly one of every four registered vehiclesÓthis year’s campaign will emphasize the importance of buckling up to motorists who drive or ride in pickups. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, pickup drivers and passengers use seat belts at a lower rate than others: *69.3 percent of pickup drivers and passengers buckle up compared to 86 percent of other drivers and passengers. * Only 55.6 percent of pickup drivers and passengers in rural areas buckle up and only 74.1 percent of pickup drivers and passengers in urban areas buckle up. On an average day in Utah, there are 143 motor vehicle crashes involving 353 people, resulting in 61 injuries and one death. In Utah, unbuckled motorists were 40 times more likely to die in a crash than belted motorists. So, if you ride unbuckled, you are playing with your life and the lives you may leave behind in the event of a fatal crash. High-visibility enforcement such as the Click It or Ticket mobilization is credited with helping to increase the state’s belt usage rate from 67.4 percent in 2000 to an observed rate of 81.9 percent in 2012. Belt use saves thousands of lives each year across America and seatbelts have saved an estimated 1,502 lives in Utah since 2000. For the past 14 years, the Click It or Ticket campaign has been successful in getting more people to buckle up. Yet, many motorists still ride unprotected. That’s why Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, is strongly supporting enhanced enforcement of the seat belt law between May 20 and June 2, 2013. It shouldn’t be about the ticket, but if the threat of dying or getting injured in a crash isn’t enough, maybe the $45 will be. Law enforcement will be cracking down on violators of Utah’s seat belt law around the clock. Local motorists should be prepared to buckle up. If law enforcement finds you on the road unbuckled anytime or anywhere, you can expect to get a ticket Ó not a warning. No excuses and no exceptions. But, it isn’t about issuing tickets, it’s about saving lives. Remember: It’s Click It or Ticket. Buckle up and encourage your loved ones to do the same. You’ll save the cost of a ticket and may even save a life.