Following the annual two-week 'Buckle Up or Pay Up, Click it or Ticket' safety belt mobilization in May, safety belt use in Michigan has increased to a new record high of 96.2 percent according to the just released direct observation statewide survey provided by the Wayne State University Transportation Research Group.
The first indication safety belt use may have increased came when law enforcement agencies reported significantly fewer citations issued during the mobilization, largely in safety belt enforcement zones. With late reports now counted, officers issued approximately 10,500 safety belt citations, a significant drop from 2006 when nearly 18,000 citations were issued.
Safety belt enforcement zones have made the enforcement effort far more visible to motorists. The use of a sign announcing the zone alerts all passing motorists that officers are focusing on safety belt use.
In 2007 Michigan was one of 10 states with a safety belt use of 90 percent or higher. Hawaii had the highest belt use at 97.6 percent last year. In 2007 Michigan's rate was 93.7 percent.
Anne Readelt, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, Lansing
July 16, 2008