Monday, July 21, 2008

Safety Belt Enforcement Programs

  • Occupant Protection Selective Traffic Enforcement Programs (sTEPs) involve periods of highly visible safety belt law enforcement combined with extensive media support. These programs are a proven method to rapidly change motorists' safety belt use behavior. Successful Occupant Protection sTEPs have been documented in Canada, Europe, and the United States.
  • visible enforcement of safety belt laws is a core strategy to increase safety belt use. States and communities have greater success in achieving increased safety belt use when there is strong enforcement of the law, along with effective media support.27 This strong enforcement of safety belt laws sends the message that the State takes safety belt use laws seriously. Ultimately, this leads to greater compliance.
  • Click It or Ticket (CIOT) model has been enormously successful in increasing safety belt use at the community, State, and regional level. This nationwide initiative, a partnership involving NHTSA, the Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign, and hundreds of law enforcement agencies, increased national belt use by four percentage points in 2003.28 Safety belt use increased again in 2004, reaching an all-time high of 80 percent.
  • Many jurisdictions in the United States have adopted Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), a system designed to delay full licensure while allowing beginners to obtain their initial experience under lower-risk conditions. There are three stages: a minimum supervised learner's period, an intermediate license, and a full-privilege driver's license after successful completion of the first two stages. A strong GDL system will include education and enforcement of safety belt laws. For example, in North Carolina, the GDL law includes a provision for violations of GDL restrictions that includes safety belt infractions; a conviction extends the interim licensing period for six months from the time of the violation.

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