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How Can Communities Enforce Seat Belt Use?


Westat is working the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on a project to design, implement, and evaluate a leadership toolkit for use by law enforcement communities to increase seat belt use and enforcement. We have begun by first engaging with three “model communities” selected by NHTSA to develop and implement a leadership model for a high-visibility seat belt enforcement program. We will then use the information to develop a leadership toolkit customized to assist three “demonstration communities” in developing and maintaining high-visibility seat belt enforcement activities.

For the second component of the project, we will evaluate the toolkit and its implementation by the demonstration communities. We are documenting changes in enforcement activity and its effects on behaviors in surrounding communities. Westat is collecting and reviewing crash data, observational seat belt use data, memoranda, procedural manuals and guidance, operating procedures, press releases and articles, and other communications and guidance used to implement the program or describe its implementation. We are also interviewing key stakeholders, seat belt enforcement personnel, and police personnel not directly involved in seat belt enforcement.