UTAH (ABC4) – As the summer months approach, the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS), Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) and the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) are making an increased effort to encourage Utahns to buckle up.

According to a press release from DPS, seat belt use has decreased 2% from 90% in 2021.

The release states that the consequence of fewer people buckling up has resulted in an increase in fatalities, which has caused law enforcement across Utah to participate in “Click It or Ticket.”

“A staggering 50% of the fatalities in the first quarter of 2022 (Jan. through March) were unrestrained, reported by the fatal crash review board, which includes traffic safety engineers from the Utah Department of Transportation.”

They say that over the last five years, unrestrained fatalities account for 47% of total vehicle roadway deaths in Utah, and 49% of all driver fatalities.

Photos below show a minor crash that was fatal because the driver wasn’t buckled.

Increased seat belt enforcement will reportedly take place statewide from May 23 to June 5.

During this time, 52 law enforcement agencies throughout Utah will work a reported 480 additional shifts to stop and educate motorists who aren’t wearing a seat belt.

DPS has also launched a new campaign featuring the Grim Reaper attempting to persuade drivers to not properly buckle up, with a call to action to “cheat death.”

The campaign ad can be seen below.

(Courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety)