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Utah family credits seat belts to saving their lives as DPS launches ‘Click it or Ticket’ campaign

Posted at 8:07 PM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 22:07:43-04

SANDY, Utah – The Utah Department of Public Safety is getting set for its “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

The initiative runs from May 21st through June 3rd.

During those two weeks, law enforcement across the state will add 450 additional seat belt enforcement shifts to cite drivers and passengers who aren’t buckled up.

According to statistics provided by the Utah Department of Public Safety, 83 people died on Utah roads in 2017 while they weren’t wearing seat belts.

“That’s something we can prevent,” said Major Jess Anderson of the Utah Highway Patrol.

Mark Florence of Cedar City says his family is living proof that seat belts do their jobs.

“I had enough time to realize, oh no, and it was over with,” Florence said when recalling a crash involving his family.

They were headed through the Provo Canyon last July when they were hit, head on, by a drunk driver.

“I was grateful to catch my wits afterwards and then realize, we’re still alive,” Florence said.

Mark, his wife and two teenage children were all wearing seat belts.

His 16-year-old daughter Maia suffered a broken bone in her back, causing her to miss her entire sophomore season playing high school soccer.

To make up for the lost season, the Utah Royals invited Maia to practice with the team.

“This is definitely the best day of my life, to meet all the players I look up to,” Maia said.

She’s thankful she took the time to buckle up. That decision is now allowing her to continue playing the sport she loves.

“I had no idea I would be able to have a recovery this fast,” Maia said.

The Florence family hopes people pay attention to their story.

There is no telling when an accident like this will occur, but the few seconds the Florence family took to fasten their seat belts is the reason why the family is still together today.

“I do believe that is the only reason our family is here, alive today,” Mark Florence said.