Seat Belt Usage Flat; Agency Presses for New State Laws


Seat belt usage has remained virtually flat this year, prompting some highway safety advocates to step up efforts to pass primary seat belt laws in the 25 states that don’t have them, reports USA Today. Survey indicate 81% seat belt usage this fiscal year, down from 82% in 2005. A National Safety Council spokesman said the agency is pressing for the laws in Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and Colorado. Vermont and Montana also are targets.

In states with primary seat belt laws, police can stop motorists for not wearing seat belts and issue a ticket. In the 24 states that have secondary seat belt laws, police can cite non-users only after stopping a vehicle for other traffic violations. New Hampshire has no seat belt law. Statistics show belt usage rose this year in the West to 90% from 85%, and in the South to 83% from 82%. Usage declined in the Northeast to 74% from 78% and in the Midwest to 77% from 79%.


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