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J Safety Res. 2004;35(2):215-22.

Ninety five percent: an evaluation of law, policy, and programs to promote seat belt use in Washington state.

Author information

1
Washington Traffic Safety Commission, 1000 S. Cherry Street, PO Box 40944, Olympia, Washington 98504, USA. psalzberg@wtsc.wa.gov

Abstract

Seat belt use in Washington state was 83% in 2001. In 2002, a series of law, policy, and program initiatives coalesced to produce a dramatic increase in seat belt use. Washington enacted a primary enforcement seat belt, the Chief of the Washington State Patrol made safety belt enforcement one of the core missions of that agency, and Washington participated in the national Memorial Day Click It or Ticket program during May 2002 and continued the program into 2003. Evaluation of these initiatives was accomplished through observation surveys of seat belt use, analysis of seat belt violation data, and analysis of data on traffic deaths of motor vehicle occupants. The major findings were that there was a two- to three-fold increase in enforcement of the seat belt law, belt use rates increased to 93% in 2002 and again to 95% in 2003, and motor-vehicle occupant fatalities decreased by 13%. IMPACT ON PRACTICE AND POLICY: The primary seat belt law and Click It or Ticket program activities were critical factors in increasing belt use in Washington state. Media and enforcement programs targeting seat belt use can be very effective in raising the belt use rate, but a long-term commitment to continuation of these program activities is essential. Other states implementing new primary seat belt laws should consider delivering a Click It or Ticket campaign prior to the effective date of the primary law and continuing these activities during subsequent months and years.

PMID:
15178241
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsr.2004.03.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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