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Seatbelt crackdown follows deadly weekend on Utah highways
First Published May 19 2014 10:52 pm • Last Updated May 23 2014 04:52 pm

On the heels of a weekend with seven deaths on Utah highways, state troopers are launching their annual seatbelt ticket campaign.

Click It or Ticket began its 15th year Monday, with officers poised to ticket motorists who fail to use safety belts. Drivers younger than 19 may be pulled over for not wearing seat belts, while drivers 19 and older may be ticketed if they are not belted when pulled over for other infractions.

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Although only 17.6 percent of Utahns failed to use seat belts in 2013, unbelted motorists made up 27.7 percent of fatalities last year, the Utah Highway Patrol reported.

This weekend four men died when a van carrying undocumented immigrants rolled early Friday on Interstate 70; a woman and two children died when a vehicle rolled into a pond near Salt Lake City International Airport after a police chase Saturday. It is not clear how many were wearing seat belts.

Utahns wear seat belts at a rate lower than the national average: 82.4 percent versus 87 percent nationally. Only 71.3 percent of pickup drivers wear seat belts, troopers reported. Urban drivers are more likely than rural drivers to wear them, and women are more likely than men.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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