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Bonneville Co. to step up seat belt enforcements

Bonneville Co. to step up seat belt enforcements

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -  The Bonneville County Sheriff's Office received a $20,000 grant to target seat belt usage, aggressive driving and inattentive driving.

Early Monday Bonneville County Deputy Jeff Edwards stood in the parking lot of Hillcrest High School to see how many students were not wearing seat belts. Within 10 minutes nearly half of the 37 motorists that drove by Edwards were not wearing seat belts.

"You don't have a front plate on your car, which means you can be stopped by a police officer and if you're not wearing your seat belt, which you're not, I could issue a citation," Edwards told a student. 

At the end of January more deputies will be patrolling the streets.

"Patrol officers are busy taking calls, responding to accidents, so this is dedicated money for dedicated overtime for officers," he said.

"These officers will be additional officers in marked cars doing nothing but aggressive driving and seat belt enforcement, and their whole emphasis is to work traffic that entire day that they're working," Edwards said.  

Surveys taken in Bonneville County show less than 70 percent of people wore their seat belts in 2014. There were also three fatal accidents in 2012 where people were partially or fully ejected from the vehicle.

Jennifer Sherman lives in eastern Idaho. She said wearing a seat belt saved her life when she was on her way to Michigan.
It is important to note not using a seat belt is a secondary offense, so drivers can't be pulled over just because they are not wearing a seat belt.

A seat belt fine is $10 if the person is 18 years old and older. 

The grant was provided from the Office of Highway Safety and the Idaho Transportation Department.


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