One objective of this study was to obtain data from a large number of locations within Lexington to determine the extent that safety belt usage varies within the city. An observational survey was conducted at two locations in each of 12 geographic zones in Lexington. Overall safety belt usage rates of 37.6 percent for drivers and 65.1 for children under four years of age were observed using data collected in all 12 zones. Rates were higher in zones in the southern half of Lexington. Usage rates for drivers ranged from 31.9 to 43.5 percent in the various zones while the use of safety seats or belts for children under four years of age ranged from 44.2 percent to 79.1 percent.

Another objective of the study was to use a mailed questionnaire to assess opinions of Lexington residents toward a mandatory safety belt law. A response rate of 61.7 percent was obtained to a questionnaire mailed to 1,000 licensed drivers in Fayette County. The respondents agreed that safety belts were effective with 85 percent indicating that safety belts were very effective in reducing injuries and deaths in traffic accidents. The usage rate noted by the respondents (60 percent indicated they always wore their safety belt) was substantially higher than that determined from the observational survey. The respondents gave strong support to either a statewide law requiring use of safety belts (77 percent in favor) or, in absence of a statewide law, a law in Fayette County requiring use of safety belts (73 percent in favor).

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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.