The objective of this report was to document the results of the “Buckle Up Kentucky: It’s the Law & It’s Enforced” 2005 campaign in Kentucky. The campaign involved a combination of earned media, paid media, and enforcement. The earned media started two weeks prior to Memorial Day 2005and continued through the enforcement period. Two separate paid media campaigns were conducted.One dealt specifically with pickups while the other was a general campaign for all drivers. The pickup campaign started four weeks prior to Memorial Day and lasted two weeks. The general campaign was for the two weeks prior to Memorial Day. 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 fora full statewide survey) found that usage increased from a baseline level of 66.1 percent to 68.6 percent during the enforcement phase of the campaign. Enforcement was conducted by both state and local police through saturated enforcement and checkpoints. A total of 6,089 safety belt citations and 422 child restraint citations were given during the two-week enforcement period. The telephone survey showed that drivers had heard publicity about the campaign (most often on television). A higher percentage of drivers indicated they had increased their safety belt usage in the last30 days after the campaign. About two-thirds of all drivers felt Kentucky should have a primary enforcement law allowing police to stop drivers for a safety belt violation. There were several differences in the responses of all drivers and pickup drivers. The numbers of fatal crashes, injury crashes and total crashes during the two-week enforcement period of the campaign were lower than in any of the previous three years. The number of injuries during this period was 269 less than the average of the previous three years with nine less fatalities. A review of the data results in the opinion that the current law in Kentucky must be changed from secondary to primary enforcement to obtain a long-term high safety belt use percentage. There must also be an awareness by the public that the law is being enforced.

Report Date


Report Number


Digital Object Identifier



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.