Citizen Telegram Letter to the Editor – April 3, 2014
Buckle up, Rifle
Fatalities are up nationwide for unbelted motor vehicle occupants – the first time in five years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2012, over 10,000 unbelted motor vehicle occupants died. A compliance check done in Rifle on Wednesday, March 26, showed that 24 percent of drivers were not wearing their seat belts. These numbers are not acceptable and the Rifle Police Department is determined to help bring them down.
Seat belts save lives. From 2008-12, they saved nearly 63,000 lives nationwide. And in 2012, over 3,000 lives could have been saved if all unrestrained occupants in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts. The Rifle Police Department is reminding motorists to wear their seat belts; we stepped up enforcement on Monday, March 31.
Our efforts are part of the larger 2014 Click It or Ticket program that runs May 19–June 1. As motorists take to the roads to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend, law enforcement officers across the nation will focus on ensuring everyone buckles up.
Many people tend to think they don’t need to buckle up. They think they are invincible. Young adults are dying at a disproportionate rate because they are not wearing their seat belts. Twice as many men as women are dying in vehicle crashes and men wear their seat belts less often than women. Pickup truck occupants think their large vehicle will protect them in a crash, but they are dying, too.
So we are letting you know now: While enforcement is not always the best answer, we want you to be safe, and have stepped up enforcement of seat belt violations. So please, Rifle, buckle up!
Rifle chief of police
Editor’s note: The Silt and Glenwood Springs police departments are also participating in this seat belt enforcement effort.
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Rifle City Manager Scott Hahn plans to transition out of his position over the next several months, according to a city of Rifle news release.