Managing Effective Seat Belt Programs Phil Haseltine Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety September 14, 2004
The Importance of Buckling Up Increasing safety belt use is the single most effective short-term way to significantly reduce deaths and injuries from traffic crashes.
Essential Components of Effective Belt Use Programs Uniform Policies Consistently Applied Meaningful Penalties
2001 Seat Belt Summit • 45 of the nation’s leading authorities on restraint use. • 6 strategies to pursue and 1 to avoid.
Strategy 1 Eliminate secondary enforcement provisions in state laws.
Strategy 2 Laws should cover all vehicle occupants and provide for meaningful penalties.
Strategy 3 High visibility enforcement programs supported by paid advertising and earned media.
Strategy 4 Implement effective diversity strategies and professional enforcement practices to eliminate racial profiling while increasing belt use.
Strategy 5 Develop and install effective vehicle systems to induce belt use.
Strategy 6 Provide states with long term stable federal highway safety funding.
Strategies to Avoid • TV, radio or print public service campaigns, catchy slogans and promotional materials unless they are specifically integrated with enforcement activities. • 30 years of experience shows that education, alone, doesn’t increase belt use.
Applicability State laws Military programs Private employer programs
The Target Audience:What Do Part Time and Non-Users Think About Seat Belts? ACTS 2000 nationwide telephone survey Self-described part time or non-users Licensed drivers age 16 or older
Using Technology to Induce Higher Seat Belt Use • A 2003 TRB study concluded that new technologies can increase belt use without being overly intrusive. • Current law limits NHTSA requirement for reminders to eight continuous seconds. • Interlocks cannot be required.
Ford BeltMinder System • Uses intermittent chimes and lights for up to 5 minutes. • Phased in for drivers MY 2000 to 2002. • Phasing in RF passenger starting in MY 2003. • IIHS evaluation found 76% vs. 71% usage.
Other Reminder Systems • Speed-based intensity systems • NHTSA is urging automakers to develop voluntary approaches • Aftermarket interlocks have high cost-limited market
GM Belt Reminder Protocol Currently Implemented on 2005 Full Size Truck Time in seconds t=0 is ignition 113 368 360 380 435 0 8 20 75 105 125 180 Quiet 30sec Quiet (180 sec.) FMVSS 208 GM’s Seat Belt Reminder Protocol 8 seconds of chime and solid light (FMVSS 208) 12 seconds of solid light 55 seconds of flashing light Note: 2nd and 3rd iterations of reminder only enabled when vehicle speed >/= 5mph. All warning functions stop when belts are buckled.
Summary • Sound policies that are uniformly enforced and have meaningful penalties are essential to achieving and maintaining high seat belt use. • Vehicle technologies can help achieve high usage rates. • The folks who pay attention to educational messages are already buckling up.
Contact Information Phil Haseltine Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety 703.243.7501 email@example.com