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Save lives and save money

Saving money and saving your own life can be simple. It’s as easy as wearing a seat belt. You not only save money by avoiding a $124 ticket, but it is the best defense in helping save your life and the lives of passengers in the event of a crash.

Beginning May 23, motorists can expect to see law enforcement patrolling city and county roadways in search of unbuckled or improperly buckled drivers and passengers. Mercer Island law enforcement is joining jurisdictions across the region in the effort.

In Washington state between 2005 and 2009, 2,866 people died in vehicle collisions and another 13,749 were seriously injured. But since 2002, traffic deaths among motor vehicle occupants have fallen 32 percent, and serious injuries are down by 27 percent on Washington roadways.

“Law enforcement officers would rather have motorists buckle up than write them a seat belt infraction. The evidence is clear that seat belts save lives. By increasing seat belt use, Washington continues to reduce the costs incurred by those who don’t buckle up,” said Lowell Porter, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
 Statistical analysis shows that wearing a seat belt decreases the chance of dying or being seriously injured in a collision by about 70 percent, compared to an unbuckled motorist. Medical costs from vehicle collisions amount to more than $276 million each year in this state and vast sums of money have been saved by getting motorists to buckle up.
 For additional information about the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, visit www.wtsc.wa.gov.

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