A mandatory safety belt ordinance was enacted in Fayette County with an effective date of July 1, 1990. One objective of this study was to conduct usage surveys after the ordinance had been in effect for approximately three years. This would allow comparisons to be made of safety belt usage before and immediately after the effective date of the ordinance to that found a substantial time period after enactment of the ordinance. A second objective of the study was to compere accident data before and after the ordinance became effective. The would allow an analysis of the effect the ordinance had on accident severity. The third objective involved an analysis of citation data in order to determine the level of enforcement of the ordinance.

The usage rate for drivers was approximately 37 percent before enactment of the ordinance. After the ordinance became effective and enforcement began on July 1, 1990, the usage rate for drivers increased to approximately 76 percent. However, after approximately three years, the usage rate for drivers has dropped to about 59 percent.

Citation data were summarized for the three·year period after enactment of the ordinance. The citation data show that enforcement has continued over the study period although most of the secondary citations are dismissed.

Accident data show that the number of fatalities has been reduced after enactment of the law. The number of non-incapacitating injuries was also reduced with no reduction found in the number of incapacitating injuries. Comparing actual with projected numbers shows that the actual number of fatalities was 18 percent lower than the projected number with the number of non-incapacitating injuries 12 percent less than the projected number.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the author, who is 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, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government or the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.