The objective of this report was to document the results of the “Buckle Up Kentucky: It’s the Law & It’s Enforced” 2006 campaign in Kentucky. The campaign involved a combination of earned media, paid media, and enforcement. The earned media started about five weeks prior to Memorial Day 2006 and continued through the enforcement periods. Two separate paid media campaigns and enforcement periods were conducted. One dealt specifically with pickups while the other was a general campaign for all drivers. The pickup media campaign started four weeks prior to Memorial Day and lasted two weeks followed by a one-week enforcement period. The general media campaign was for the two weeks prior to Memorial Day while the enforcement period was a two-week period including the week before and the week of Memorial Day. The evaluation of the campaign included documenting the activities associated with the program (publicity and enforcement) and evaluating the results. The evaluation also involved conducting observations of safety belt usage at a sample of locations across the state, conducting telephone surveys before and after the campaign, and comparing the number of fatal and injury crashes during the enforcement period with previous years. Safety belt usage at a mini-sample set of 21 locations across the state (compared to 200 sites for a full statewide survey) found that usage for all vehicles increased from a baseline level of 67.3 percent to 67.9 percent during the enforcement phase of the general campaign. Usage for pickups increased from 52.9 percent during the baseline to 54.8 percent during enforcement. Enforcement was conducted by both state and local police through saturated enforcement and checkpoints. A total of 4,704 safety belt citations and 311 child restraint citations were given during the two-week enforcement period around Memorial Day. There were 3,132 safety belt citations and 224 child restraint citations given during the week of enforcement related to the pickup campaign. The telephone survey showed that drivers had heard publicity about the campaign (most often on television) with an increase in the perceived likelihood of receiving a ticket for not wearing a seat belt. The majority of drivers understood that there was a new law allowing the police to stop them for just a seat belt violation. The most common slogans drivers had heard were “Buckle up Kentucky. It’s the Law and it’s Enforced” and “Click it or Ticket.” There were several differences in the responses of all drivers and pickup drivers. The numbers of injuries and injury crashes in 2006 were slightly lower than the average of the previous three years while the numbers of fatalities, fatal crashes, and total crashes were higher. The law in Kentucky was changed in 2006 with a primary safety belt law enacted with an effective date in July. The legislation establishes an education period to the end of 2006 where a warning is given rather than a fine. The data show that enforcement of this law and publicity of this enforcement must be implemented to result in a substantial increase in usage.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky or the Kentucky State Police. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.