(ITD Communication) — Taking three seconds to buckle up before driving or riding in a vehicle could mean the difference between life and death.

That’s why the Office of Highway Safety is partnering with local law enforcement agencies to patrol for those not using safety restraints across Idaho. The mobilization will run from July 25 to Aug. 7, 2020.

“Our goal is to have everyone buckle up, every time,” said John Tomlinson, Office of Highway Safety manager. “Seat belts are proven to be the most effective safety feature ever introduced for vehicles. They cut in half the likelihood of fatal and serious injuries from traffic crashes.”

Safety restraints are not optional. Idaho law requires that everyone in a vehicle be properly restrained. In the last five years, from 2015-2019, 56% of vehicle occupants killed in Idaho were not restrained and 1,207 unrestrained vehicle occupants were critically injured in traffic crashes.

“This mobilization effort isn’t just about handing out citations,” said Tomlinson. “These efforts are to keep drivers and passengers safe. When you choose not to wear your seat belt, or when you allow your passengers to ride with you unrestrained, you increase the risk of serious injury or death.”