Utah Highway Patrol cracking down on seat belt violators Easter weekend

Posted at 1:43 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 17:13:30-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- If you're hitting the road this Easter weekend, remember to strap yourself in because the Utah Highway Patrol is buckling down on Utah drivers who don't buckle up—especially at night.

UHP officials said buckling up can literally be the difference between life and death. UHP found that more than six out of every 10 accidents that happen at night involve either somebody not wearing a seat belt or someone wearing one that wasn't properly fitted.

Thursday night, FOX 13 News rode along with Trooper Shawn Peppers, who is part of a law enforcement effort aimed at getting drivers to click it, without having to issue them a ticket. While you can get a ticket for not buckling up during this enforcement effort, Peppers said that's not their main goal.

“Part of our job is to educate people,” Peppers said. “Where the seat belt law is fairly new, and we just want to encourage people to voluntarily wear it, and I think there is an educational component to that."

The reason for the push is simple: seat belts can save lives and reduce the severity of injuries caused in an accident. And it doesn't take a lot of effort to buckle up.

A law regarding mandatory seat belt use went into effect in Utah last year, and UHP officials decided to use Easter weekend to take their message directly to the driving public.