The objective of this study was to establish 2006 safety belt and child safety seat usage rates in Kentucky. The 2006 survey continues to document the results after enactment of the original “secondary enforcement” statewide mandatory safety belt law in 1994 and the change to “primary enforcement” which was enacted in 2006. Data were collected at 200 randomly selected sites spread across Kentucky. Data from the individual sites were combined into a statewide percentage considering roadway functional classification, geographic region, and vehicle miles traveled. The data show that the usage rate in 2006 (67.2 percent) was slightly higher than that in 2005 (66.7 percent). Considering data taken after the original statewide law, this compares to 66.0 in 2004, 65.5 percent in 2003, 62.0 percent in 2002, 61.9 percent in 2001, 60 percent in 2000, 59 percent in 1999, 54 percent in 1998, 1997 and 1995, 55 percent in 1996, and 58 percent in 1994. The current usage is substantially above the 1993 level, prior to enactment of the original statewide law, of 42 percent. The 2006 statewide usage rate for children under the age of four was determined to be 94.0 percent. This continues the high rate found for this age category and compares to the high of 96.0 percent in 2004. The statewide law was changed in 2006 to allow primary enforcement. An educational period will extend through December 2006 where warning citations are given. Enforcement with fines will start in January 2007. Enactment of the primary enforcement law, without education and enforcement, has not resulted in an increase in usage. To obtain the maximum possible increase in usage, enforcement accompanying publicity, must be implemented in 2007.

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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. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names is for identification purposes only and are not to be considered as endorsements.