The Bear River Health Department and local high schools are teaming up to reduce injuries and fatalities by promoting safe driving and increasing seat belt use. Schools joined in the nationally known “Click it or Ticket” campaign during the month of January to educate teenage drivers of the importance of wearing a seat belt. The leading cause of death for teens 15 to 19 years old is motor vehicle crashes. According to the 2005 Utah Highway Safety crash summary, 3 out of 5 teens killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
Anyone under the age of 19 without a seat belt can be pulled over and cited a $45 ticket. Local schools want to reduce the amount of non-seat belt wearers. In and effort to encourage seat belt use, students implemented activities such as: seat belt observations, posting banners and signs, handing out incentives, and working with local law enforcement to save lives by educating, enforcing and rewarding those who wear their seat belt.
According to ParentsEmpowered.org, parents are a greater influence in their teen’s life than their peers. The health department encourages parents to set clear rules for driving teens by providing a healthy example through buckling up, and requiring others to do the same. Parents can also take an active role by participating in the graduated driver licensing program. This program has shown to decrease fatal crashes of 16 year olds by up to 20 percent. Utah’s graduated driver licensing law, includes restrictions on night-time driving, passengers, enforces primary seat belt use, and requires parents to accompany new drivers for a minimum of 40 hours. For additional information regarding the graduated driver licensing program contact the Division of Motor Vehicles office at http://dmv.utah.gov
For more information about the “Click it or Ticket” campaign contact the Bear River Health Department at 435-792-6510 or The Utah Highway Safety Department at 801-957-8531.