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Holiday gatherings may look different this year, but what hasn’t changed is the importance of sharing the holidays with loved ones. Idaho State Police are reminding motorists that buckling up and engaged driving is the best way to keep families whole and ensure more holiday celebrations.

Idaho State Police Troopers are part of a special two-week mobilization involving the ITD Office of Highway Safety and partner law enforcement agencies nationwide. Extra seat belt education and enforcement patrols began November 16 and will run through November 29. During traffic stops, these extra patrols will provide additional focus on the protection and safety seat belts provide.

“Our Troopers see first-hand the lives lost when people don’t buckle up, and that sudden loss of life is devastating to the family. The best way we can honor those families is to try and prevent these tragedies. That means getting folks to wear their seat belt and focus on their driving.” Said Lt. Chris Weadick of ISP District 6 in Eastern Idaho.

According to the Idaho Office of Highway Safety:

- As of Nov 17, 2020, there have been at least 131motor vehicle fatalities in Idaho; 88 of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

- In 2019, 44% of the fatal crashes in Idaho were single vehicles that ran off the road; 72% of those killed in these vehicles were not wearing seatbelts.

“The enforcement done in these extra patrols can often be effective education for motorists to remember safe driving behaviors, including buckling up.” Said Lt Chris Schenck of ISP District 1 in North Idaho.

“We’re urging folks who choose to travel this holiday to think of the friends and family and great food they have waiting for them, and to make the choices that will get them where they’re going safely. Most folks don’t want to risk a citation, but that enforcement can be useful as education to remind folks it’s all about getting them down the road and keeping them safe.” Said Lt. Schenck.

Funding for additional seat belt education and enforcement is provided by a grant from the Idaho Transportation Department through the National Highway Traffic Administration.

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