The objective of this study was to establish 2003 safety belt and child safety seat usage rates in Kentucky. The 2003 survey continues to document the results after enactment of a statewide mandatory safety belt law in 1994 and safety belt enforcement campaign. 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 2003 (65.5%) was higher than that in 2002 (62.0%). This compared to 61.9% in 2001, 60% in 2000, 59% in 1999, 54% in 1998, 1997 and 1995, 55% in 1996, and 58% in 1994. The current usage is substantially above the 1993 level, prior to enactment of the statewide law, of 42%. The 2003 statewide usage rate for children under the age of four was determined to be 94.8%. This continues the high rate found for this age category and compares to the previous high of 92.9% in 2002. The statewide law, except for children, involves secondary enforcement. The high usage rate for children can be related to primary enforcement. To obtain the maximum possible increase in usage, the current law should be modified to allow primary, rather than secondary, enforcement for all vehicle occupants. The potential increase which can result from an emphasis on enforcement was shown by the results obtained during the enforcement period of this year's "Buckle Up Kentucky: It's the Law & It's Enforced" campaign. As a minimum, primary enforcement should apply to drivers while they are in the permit and intermediate phase of the graduated license program.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This report was prepared in cooperation with the Kentucky State Police.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Kentucky, Lexington

    Kentucky Transportation Center
    College of Engineering, 176 Raymond Building
    Lexington, KY  United States  40506-0281
  • Authors:
    • Agent, K E
    • Green, E R
  • Publication Date: 2003-8


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 34 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00962883
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: University of Kentucky, Lexington
  • Report/Paper Numbers: KTC-03-23/KSP1-03-1F,, Research Report
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 22 2003 12:00AM