The objective of this study was to establish 2008 safety belt and child safety seat usage rates in Kentucky. The 2008 survey continues to document the results after enactment of the initial “secondary enforcement” statewide mandatory safety belt law in 1994 and the subsequent 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 2008 (73.3 percent) increased compared to 2007 (71.8 percent). Considering data taken after the original statewide law, this compares to 67 percent in 2006 and 2005, 66 in 2004 and 2003, 62 percent in 2002 and 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 2008 statewide usage rate for children under the age of four was determined to be 98 percent.

Usage varies by highway functional classification. The highest rate of 82 percent was found on rural interstates with the lowest rate of 65 percent on rural local and collector roads.

Usage also varied by region of the state and by vehicle type. The lowest usage rate was found in the east region and for pickups with the highest usage in the north region and for vans. The range in usage varied from 52 percent for pickups in the east region to 81 percent for vans in the north region.

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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, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names are for identification purposes and are not considered as endorsements.