Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, May 24, 2010

Seat Belt Safety; Boise Police Extra patrols

05-24-10 Seat Belt Safety; Boise Police Extra patrols

    Boise, May 24, 2010 - Boise Police have extra traffic patrols on the streets as of this morning. And while watching for traffic violations, officers are paying special attention to seat belts! Those not buckled up, whether driving very early in the morning or late at night, risk a ticket.

• Boise Police have received a $22,000 grant from the Idaho Transportation Department's Office of Highway Safety.

• The grant pays for overtime for officers working the special traffic safety patrols.

• The special seat belt patrols begin today, May 24th, and run through Sunday, June 6th.

• Boise PD is one of 65 Idaho law enforcement agencies participating in the extra patrols and safety campaign.

• The Boise Police Department is committed to supporting ITD's statewide safety campaign "Toward Zero Deaths," because every life counts.

Up to 90% Boiseans wearing seat belts - good but not good enough, "Sometimes it's tragic".

    Boise Motor Officer Kyle Wills just completed an unofficial survey of Boise City motorists. Officer Wills found between 87% and 90% seat belt use in the city.

    In 2009, the national safety restraint use rate was 84%, while statewide, Idaho's use rate stood at 79%.

    "The survey is encouraging, and we thank those who are buckling up and reminding their friends and family to do the same." said Officer Wills.

    "We're still hopeful we can reach out and convince that extra ten percent that wearing seat belts is worth their time. We, as traffic and patrol officers, see what happens when we respond to crashes with people who weren't wearing seat belts. Sometimes it's tragic. We know a motorists chance of surviving a crash, and surviving with less serious injuries, often depends on whether they were wearing seat belts."

Special patrols in time for Memorial Day travel

    "We know that more people hit the road in the summer and our goal is to keep Idahoans safe," said Officer Wills. "We hope this campaign reminds everyone to think about their safety and the safety of their loved ones as they make summer travel plans.

Enforcement and Education; a Strong Safety Message

    As officers hit the streets, ads that send a strong safety message about seat belt use have already hit local media. ITD began a safety ad campaign using local media last week.
Idaho Crash Stats:

• Last year, 85 unrestrained people were killed in Idaho traffic crashes.

• State law requires all vehicle occupants to be properly restrained, no matter where they are seated.

• Fines for violating Idaho's safety restraint laws range from $10 to $69.

• Decisions to not buckle up also cost Idahoans money. U.S. Department of Transportation studies show that safety restraint use in Idaho saved $260 million in comprehensive costs in 2007 alone. However, the lack of safety restraint use by approximately one in four Idahoans cost citizens of the state nearly $48 million in preventable emergency, medical and social costs.

Riding Unbuckled in 2010 - Who Is Most at Risk?

• Nighttime drivers - According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 12,671 passenger vehicle occupants who died in motor vehicle crashes between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. in 2008, nearly two-thirds (64%) were NOT wearing seat belts - compared to less than half (45%) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed during the daytime hours of 6 a.m. to 5:59 p.m.

• Teens - In 2008, 70 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants 13 to 15 years old killed in traffic crashes were not buckled up - the highest percentage of all age groups.

• Young adults - Among passenger vehicle occupants 25 to 34 who were killed in crashes, 66 percent were not buckled up - the second highest percentage for any age group.

• Men - Men are less likely than women to buckle up. This is especially true of young men. In 2008, 66 percent of male drivers and 74 percent of male passengers 18 to 34 killed in passenger vehicles were NOT wearing their seat belts.

  • Pickup drivers and passengers - Pickup truck drivers and passengers continue to have lower seat belt usage rates than occupants of other passenger vehicles. In 2008, 67 percent of pickup truck drivers and 70 percent of pickup truck passengers who were killed in traffic crashes were NOT buckled up.