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Michigan safety belt use immediately following implementation of standard enforcement
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    Reported here are the results of a direct observation survey of safety belt use conducted in March 2000 to determine the effect the implementation of standard enforcement legislation has had on Michigan's safety belt use rate. In this study, 11,687 occupants traveling in four vehicle types (passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles, vans/minivans, and pickup trucks) were surveyed from March 16 to March 30, 2000. Belt use was estimated for all commercial/noncommercial vehicle types combined (the statewide safety belt use rate) and separately for each vehicle type. Within and across each vehicle type, belt use by age, sex, road type, day of week, time of day, and seating position were calculated. Statewide belt use was 83.5%. When compared with the safety belt use rate determined prior to the implementation of standard enforcement legislation, this survey's estimated use rate shows that safety belt use in Michigan has increased as a result of the law. Belt use was 85.7% for passenger cars, 86.2% for sport-utility vehicles, 85.2% for vans/minivans, and 74.2% for pickup trucks. For all vehicle types, belt use was higher for females than for males, and higher for drivers than for passengers. Belt use was highest in the 60-and-over age group, followed by the 30-to-59 year old age group, 4-to-15 year old age group, and 16-to-29 year old age group, respectively. Belt use did not vary systematically by time of day, day of week or prevailing weather conditions. Maintenance of effective public information and education programs and targeting programs at low use populations could be effective in further increasing safety belt use in Michigan and in helping Michigan maintain a safety belt use rate consistent with state goals and reach the national standards set for the year 2005.

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