The U.S. Department of Transportation and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study on the correlation between seatbelt usage and local laws. The main objective of the study was to determine whether or not seat belt usage decreased or increased in areas with less severe penalties.
From 2000 to 2008, seatbelt fines went up in certain areas by as much as 81%. In other areas, fines have dropped roughly 4%, with some jurisdictions charging motorists as low as $26.
The over all study results show a direct correlation to seatbelt usage and fines. As we all may have guessed, the higher the fine the more likely drivers are to buckle up. An increase from $5 to $100 resulted in an overall seatbelt usage of 46%.
In other areas, where the fine increase only rose from $60 to $100, the overall seatbelt usage only went up 3%. The findings and results of this NHTS study may in fact encourage legislators and local law enforcement to increase seatbelt fines.
However, the observed seatbelt usage rating is well over 80%. A considerably high percentage. The important application of the study is to unify seatbelt laws and fines, and create a universal increase in seatbelt usage.
Due to the results of the study, there is a good chance seatbelt fines may increase in your area. Fortunately, wearing your seatbelt is a proactive way to stay safe in the event of an accident, encouraging the frequency of their use is positive and beneficial to motorists everywhere.