Seat Belt Use Rises in a Missouri County with a Primary Seat Belt Enforcement Ordinance [Traffic Tech]
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Seat Belt Use Rises in a Missouri County with a Primary Seat Belt Enforcement Ordinance [Traffic Tech]

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      Statewide observed seat belt use has remained unchanged in Missouri for the past several years. In 2007 Missouri’s usage was 77%, five points below the nationalrate of 82% and 8 points below the average rate of 85% in 15 States that upgraded their seat belt laws since 1996. This plateau in usage occurred in spite of regular and active participation in annual mobilizations. St. Louis County has also participated regularly in high-visibility enforcement (HVE) mobilizations over the past decade, experiencing gains through 2005 but a slight decline since that time. In March 2007 St. Louis County implemented a seat belt ordinance that allowed for traditional enforcement procedures. In order to increase usage on St. Louis County roads, particularly on roadways with fatal or disabling injury crashes, the St. Louis County Police Department (SLCPD) conducted an intense HVE campaign along an 8-mile corridor on State Highway 21 (in the southeastern part of the county). This corridor was selected in part because there had been at least 8 fatal or disabling injury crashes along this roadway in recent years. A similar roadway, Highway 24, was selected in Jackson County (located across the State) to serve as a comparison site for evaluation purposes.
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