Washington Drivers #1 For Seatbelt Safety - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington Drivers #1 For Seatbelt Safety

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Washington drivers buckle up more than any other state in the country. A new report from the National Traffic Safety Administration shows Washington state ranks number one for drivers wearing their seatbelts.

96 of every 100 driver's in Washington state strap on their seatbelts before they hit the road. That's good enough to make them number one in country for 2006. And state troopers claim it's all thanks to enforcement and education.

Troopers in our area wrote over 2000 seatbelt tickets last year and said they think drivers got the hint. But as happy as they are about people wearing their seatbelts, troopers are still concerned about the few who aren't.

"Our job is to save lives. So far this year 5 of our 9 fatalities resulted in somebody dying because they didn't have a seatbelt on. So 5 is too many," said Lt. Jay Cabezuela, Washington State Patrol.   

Troopers said almost half of the people killed in accidents in our region the last two years weren't wearing their seatbelts.

And just to compare, Oregon ranked #3 for seatbelt safety.