Strict seat belt laws in Post Falls - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

North Idaho

Strict seat belt laws in Post Falls

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POST FALLS, Idaho - "Click It, Don't Risk It!" is more than a slogan. It's a reminder that the seat belt law is strictly enforced in and around Post Falls. Beginning May 21st,  the Post Falls Police Department will be taking part in a nationwide seat belt emphasis.

"We are trying to keep families whole. There are too many husbands, fathers and teens killed simply because they just didn't think to buckle up," says Sgt. Knight. Males comprise 73% of the unbelted people killed in traffic crashes in 2006, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.

In 2006, 119 unrestrained Idahoans were killed in traffic crashes. An additional 396 critically injured occupants could have had their injuries greatly reduced or eliminated had they only buckled up.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research, 85% of medical costs for traffic crash victims are paid by the public through increased costs for insurance, taxpayer-funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and increased charges by hospitals to cover unpaid costs.

"The dangers of not buckling up are underscored during a rollover crash," says Knight. "Unbelted occupants are often ejected and run over by their own vehicle, or hurled down the road or against a fixed object. Sometimes, unbelted occupants are only partially ejected and subsequently crushed by their own vehicle as it rolls."

"Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing. Not wearing it could cost you everything. We take enforcement of the state's seat belt law seriously because while people are involved in traffic crashes for a variety of reasons, often the primary reason that people die or are injured in the crash is that they are not buckled up," said Knight. "We hope to get everyone in the habit of buckling up. We hope to keep more families whole in 2007."

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