Road Management & Engineering Journal
Road Management & Engineering Journal
July 1999
TranSafety, Inc.
(360) 683-6276
Fax: (360) 335-6402

Standard Safety Belt Enforcement

(The following article is reproduced, with permission, from the web site of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety at

Fact Sheet

In 1997, nearly 42,000 people were killed in traffic crashes and almost 3.4 million more were injured, at a cost of over $150 billion. Safety belt use, reinforced by effective safety belt laws, is a proven life saver.

All states except one have safety belt use laws, but only 14 states and the District of Columbia had standard enforcement of their belt laws as of early 1999. In states with standard enforcement, law officers may ticket a non-belt user when they see a violation of the safety belt law. With secondary enforcement, officers may issue a citation only after stopping the vehicle for another traffic infraction.

Safety belt use is significantly higher in states with standard enforcement compared to those with secondary enforcement laws. Research shows that when adults buckle up, children get buckled up too. Standard enforcement is important not only for raising adult safety belt use, but also for increasing the number of children who are protected by occupant restraints.

Safety Belt and Child Safety Seat Facts

Standard Enforcement Law Facts

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