People reminded to buckle up as summer travel starts


Press release

Havre Police Department and Vision Zero of the Montana Department of Transportation are reminding people to wear their seat belts as the summer travel season begins.

“You share the road with other motorists and must take precautions for your safety and the safety of your passengers,” Havre Police Chief Gabe Matosich said in a press release. “It is every driver’s responsibility.

“We know seat belts save lives and wearing one is the single most important safety measure you can take when you get in a vehicle,” he added. “Do your part and buckle up.”

The release said that Memorial Day weekend, traditionally the start of the summer travel season, is right around the corner, the weekend after next, and people need to make the choice to wear their seat belt — also required by law in Montana.

“Wearing your seat belt is the best defense you have to prevent serious injury and death in the event you are in a crash,” the release said.

And, as part of a nationwide and Montana-wide “Click It or Ticket” mobilization, running from Monday, May 24, through Sunday, June 6, Havre and Hill County law enforcement and the Montana Highway Patrol will be out to educate motorists and enforce Montana’s seat belt law.

The release said that, in 2019, 184 people died in roadway crashes in Montana. Of those:

• 74 of vehicle occupant deaths, excluding pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle, were of people not wearing seat belts;

• 93 unrestrained vehicle occupant deaths were on rural roadway crashes, and

• 64 unrestrained vehicle occupants who died were ejected.

“Though Montana has made improvements in the percentage of those wearing their seat belts, we still have a long way to go,” the release said. “Remember, your chance of surviving a crash is increased by 50 percent if you are buckled up.

“We can all do more to protect ourselves buy simply wearing our seat belts and ensure our passengers do the same,” the release added. “State and local law enforcement are also doing their part to ensure the safety of of all Montanans by continuing to educate motorists and enforcing Montana’s seat belt laws statewide. When we do remember to buckle up, we save lives.”



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