The 1982 Kentucky General Assembly enacted a law requiring use of child safety seats for children 40 inches or less in height. To evaluate the effectness of this law, usage surveys had to be completed before and after the law became effective. This study summarizes data collected one year after enactment of the law and compares this with ''before" data.

One year after enactment of the mandatory usage law the statewide child safety seat usage rate was 22.7 percent. This compared to 14.4 percent usage before the law and represents a statistically significant increase. Usage increased in 18 of the 19 cities surveyed. Proper usage remained a problem. Only 50 percent of the child safety seats were used properly. A statewide driver safety belt usage rate of 5.8 percent compared to 4.2 percent the year before.

The increase in usage of child safety seats may be attributed to both enactment of the mandatory usage law and increased educational and promotional campaigns. Modifications, which should strengthen the existing law, were recommended.

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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 or the Kentucky State Police. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.