Wyoming's seat belt laws blamed for deaths

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – More than 80 people have died so far this year on Wyoming highways and Wyoming Highway Patrol says about 60 percent of those deaths involved people who were not using seat belts.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation the state had an estimated seat belt compliance rate of 79.8 percent in 2015.

Neighboring states have higher seat belt compliance rates. Idaho has an 81.1 percent rate and Colorado has a rate of 85.2.

Wyoming only has secondary seat belt laws, meaning drivers can be cited for not wearing a seat belt but they cannot be pulled over for the offense.

Nationally, seat belt use rates are generally higher in the 34 states with primary enforcement, meaning drivers can be pulled over for a seat belt offense alone.