The objective of this report was to document the results of the “Buckle Up Kentucky: It’s the Law & It’s Enforced” 2007 campaign in Kentucky. Data were also taken to document the change in usage after enactment of the primary enforcement law. The campaign involved a combination of earned media, paid media, and enforcement. The earned media started about five weeks prior to Memorial Day 2007 and continued through the enforcement periods. The paid 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 was obtained at a mini-sample set of 21 locations across the state (compared to 200 sites for a full statewide survey). Usage for all vehicles at the 21 sites increased from 67.6 percent for the 2006 statewide survey to 68.7 during the public information period associated with the primary enforcement law (December 2006) to 76.2 percent during the 2007 enforcement campaign (May 2007). Enforcement was conducted by both state and local police through saturated enforcement and checkpoints. A total of 22,846 safety belt citations and 478 child restraint citations were given during the two-week enforcement period around Memorial Day in 2007. This compares to 4,704 safety belt citations in 2006. 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. Almost all 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 total, fatal, and injury crashes (as well as the number of fatalities and injuries) in 2007 were lower than the average of the previous three years. The observational surveys showed that enactment of the primary enforcement law, along with publicity and associated enforcement, did result in a substantial increase in usage. However, the increase occurred only after enforcement was implemented with very little change associated with only education.

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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.