Enhanced seat belt enforcement programs

Enhanced seat belt enforcement programs add publicity and other strategies to existing enforcement efforts (CG-Motor vehicle injury). Enhanced enforcement programs often include supplemental patrols, an increased number of officers on patrol, targeted patrols or publicity campaigns that increase public awareness of enhanced enforcement programs (NHTSA-Goodwin 2013). 

Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)

  • Increased seat belt use

  • Reduced fatal and non-fatal injuries

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that enhanced seat belt enforcement programs increase seat belt use and reduce fatal and non-fatal injuries (CG-Motor vehicle injury). Programs are more effective in suburban and rural settings than urban areas (Dihn-Zarr 2001).

Enhanced enforcement programs that use targeted patrols are equally as effective as supplemental patrols in increasing seat belt use. Such programs have also led to additional arrests for other crimes, such as alcohol-impaired driving, possession of drugs or weapons, and license violations (Dihn-Zarr 2001).

Enhanced nighttime enforcement efforts have been shown to increase night seatbelt use (NHTSA-Solomon 2009, NHTSA-Thomas 2010).

Impact on Disparities

No impact on disparities likely

Implementation Examples

Enhanced seat belt enforcement programs have been implemented at the city, county, state, and national levels (Dihn-Zarr 2001). Click It or Ticket is an example of a frequently used campaign (NHTSA-Marketing).

Implementation Resources

NHTSA-Marketing - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Traffic Safety Marketing (TSM).

Citations - Evidence

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

CG-Motor vehicle injury - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Motor vehicle injury prevention.

Dihn-Zarr 2001 - Dihn-Zarr TB, Sleet DA, Shults RA, et al. Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to increase the use of safety belts. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2001; 21(4S):48-65.

NHTSA-Solomon 2009 - Solomon MG, Chaffe RHB, Preusser DF. Nighttime enforcement of seat belt laws: An evaluation of three community programs. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), US Department of Transportation (US DOT); 2009.

NHTSA-Thomas 2010 - Thomas FD, Blomberg RD, Van Dyk, J. Evaluation of the first year of the Washington nighttime seat belt enforcement program. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), US Department of Transportation (US DOT); 2010.

Citations - Implementation Examples

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

NHTSA-Marketing - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Traffic Safety Marketing (TSM).

Dihn-Zarr 2001 - Dihn-Zarr TB, Sleet DA, Shults RA, et al. Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to increase the use of safety belts. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2001; 21(4S):48-65.

Date Last Updated

Jun 2, 2015