This report describes the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of North Carolina's occupant restraint law with respect to (1) changes in belt use in the population at large; (2) injury reduction in crashes; and (3) enforcement activities at the state and local level. The principal findings are as follows: (1) belt usage during the pre-law baseline period was 25%, during the 15-month warning ticket phase ranged from 41 to 49%, and during the $25 citation phase hit a high of 78% and leveled off at around 60% nearly 1.5 years later, with current usage at nearly 64%; (2) during the 15-month warning phase, serious and fatal injuries to Covered Occupants showed a reduction of 5.4%, and during the $25 citation phase a 14.6% reduction from the forecasted level; and (3) the level of enforcement by the Highway Patrol was 9666 warnings per month during the warning ticket phase, and 4130 $25 citations per month during the first 21 months of the citation phase. The following conclusions were drawn: North Carolina has reached and maintained one of the highest levels of statewide belt usage seen in the United States; serious injury and fatality reduction has been consistent with the comparatively high level of observed belt usage; since the law went into effect (i.e., October 1, 1985), injury reductions are estimated at 179 fewer fatalities, 4343 fewer serious injuries, and 5821 fewer moderate injuries; using motor vehicle accident costs recommended by the Federal Highway Administration, the injury and fatality reductions would represent a savings of over $500 million from October 1985 through June 1988; and there is a need for increased enforcement (particularly at the local level) along with public information and education.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Highway Safety Research Center
    Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27599
  • Authors:
    • Reinfurt, D W
    • Campbell, B J
    • Stewart, J R
    • Stutts, J C
  • Publication Date: 1988-10

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 81 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00490086
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HSRC-PR158, HS-040 529
  • Created Date: Dec 31 1989 12:00AM