JACKSON — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding everyone to buckle up this upcoming holiday season and continue to do so every day.

Since 2016, there have been 2,738 people killed in crashes due to not wearing an available safety belt.

“Seat belts save lives and reduce the risk of serious injury,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. “Wearing a safety belt not only protects the driver, but everyone in the vehicle.”

In 2021, Ohio’s safety belt usage rate was 84.1%, a decrease from 85.9% in 2019. Unfortunately, this illustrates that some Ohioans still do not buckle up.

“Your safety belt offers you the most protection when worn properly,” said Lt. Aaron Morgan, commander of the Jackson Post. “When safety belts are not used or improperly worn, potential for crash-related injuries and death increases dramatically.”

In Jackson County, there have been 79 incidents of either an unbelted fatality or a serious injury during the 2016-2021 time period.

Ohio’s safety belt law remains a secondary violation; however, troopers will continue zero-tolerance enforcement when motorists are stopped for other violations and are found to not be wearing their safety belt.

Since 2016, more than 615,000 people have been issued seat belt citations.

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