It’s a campaign directed at getting drivers to use a powerful and important feature in the vehicles-- their seatbelts. Utah law enforcement is going to new heights to get the message across.
“Some people just are not grasping what a seatbelt can do for you,” said Sgt. Ted Tingey, UHP.
How better to show what a seatbelt can do than hoist a truck in mid-air secured only with a strap made out of them, which is what was displayed in front of the Utah State Capitol building Monday.
A pick-up truck-- because those who drive them in Utah aren't as likely to get the message.
UHP says only 69 percent of truck and SUV occupants buckle up, compared to 86 percent in other vehicles.
Unfortunately that trend proved true this weekend when three people were ejected from an SUV in Tooele County. All three were not wearing their seatbelts.
“I think most people get behind the pick up truck, whether you're male or female, and you think ‘I'm in a bigger vehicle’”, said Sgt. Tingey. “Most of the time they're in the rural areas of Utah, so there's not as much traffic, ‘I’m going a short distance, I’m running down to the farm’ or they’re going to the store and so you tend to take a few more chances thinking it's not going to happen to me.”
Perhaps the most effective way to show what a seatbelt can do is to see the living proof which is why law enforcement invited a Utah man to share his story with the media of surviving a rollover with two others.
“Our truck rolled several times, we were thrown around in there, glass, debris, everything was in our face, we were so happy when the crash had stopped that we actually had our seatbelt on and we were all okay,” said Clint Leary, a crash survivor.
UHP plans to have an additional 400 patrols on the roads in Utah this weekend who will be ticketing those not wearing their seatbelts.