Enhanced seat belt enforcement programs

Evidence Rating  
Scientifically Supported
Evidence rating: Scientifically Supported

Strategies with this rating are most likely to make a difference. These strategies have been tested in many robust studies with consistently positive results.

Health Factors  
Decision Makers

Enhanced seat belt enforcement programs add publicity and other strategies to existing enforcement efforts1. 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 programs2

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 injuries1. Programs are more effective in suburban and rural settings than urban areas3.

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 violations3.

Enhanced nighttime enforcement efforts have been shown to increase night seatbelt use4, 5.

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 levels3. Click It or Ticket is an example of a frequently used campaign6.

Implementation Resources

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

Footnotes

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

2 NHTSA-Goodwin 2013 - Goodwin A, Sandt B, Hall W, Thomas L, O’Brien N, Summerlin D. Countermeasures that work: A highway safety countermeasure guide for state highway safety offices, 7th edition. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), US Department of Transportation (US DOT); 2013.

3 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.

4 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.

5 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.

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

Date Last Updated