Occupant Protection/Child Passenger Safety: Training and Tools

Best Practices for Seat Belt Enforcement

  • Look beyond the media. The media can be an excellent tool for reaching the public but it is certainly not the only tool available. Consider partnering with schools, local businesses, and community safety groups to ensure you’re reaching the broadest possible audience. Take advantage of events with large attendance, like a homecoming football game, and national public safety events, like the National Night Out, to maximize your outreach efforts.
  • Focus your resources. Target your enforcement efforts on higher traffic areas with deputies who are committed to actively enforcing seat belt laws. When possible, reserve SUVs (or other vehicles that allow deputies to sit higher) for seat belt enforcement efforts. It is often easier to observe seat belt use from those vehicles.
  • Change perceptions. Rather than creating the perception that your enforcement efforts are only about revenue, considering holding a monthly education program for seat belt violators and dismissing ticket costs for those violators who attend.
  • Conditions matter. Nighttime enforcement efforts can be complicated by low visibility and increased safety concerns. Focus enforcement efforts during daytime shifts when visibility is higher.
  • Avoid scheduling conflicts. Limited manpower is a concern for many law enforcement agencies and it may become difficult to fill posted shifts if your office is conducting too many grant programs simultaneously. Allow deputies to remain on a normal 8-hour shift to participate in grant programs, rather than attempting 12-hour shifts.
  • Strike a balance. Avoid keeping deputies in one place too long by using saturation patrols but be mindful that your saturation patrols have an appropriately-sized enforcement area. Find the balance that works best for your community and department.

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National LEL Program: Occupant Protection: Seat Belt and Car Seat Use

Seat belt use is on the rise, but more than half of all motor vehicle fatalities involved an unrestrained occupant. The following is a collection of news, materials, media campaigns and enforcement efforts that states and regions have developed to address the issue of occupant protection.

Traffic Safety Marketing: Click It or Ticket Campaign Materials

Seat belts have been proven to be one of the best ways to save your life in a crash. Yet many still don’t buckle up. Worse still, not wearing a seat belt is a habit that will pass on to impressionable youth, who in turn will think it’s safe to not buckle up. The Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on safety education, strong laws, and law enforcement officers saving lives.