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2016 Seat Belt Use Report

The simplist and most effective thing anyone can do to be safe while riding in a motor vehicle is to wear a seat belt. Although Iowa has a 94% statewide seat belt usage rate, the Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau is working diligently to increase belt usage, reduce injuries and and save lives on our streets and highways.

The Bureau supports seat belt and child passenger safety in a variety of ways. The Iowa State Patrol and over 170 local and county enforcement agencies participate in Iowa's special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP) conducting high visibility traffic enforcement with an emphasis on seat belt violators and public outreach to encourage seat belt and child restraint use. Fifteen agencies have media related grants that provide statewide exposure to occupant protection messaging via newsprint, radio, the web, billboards, and TV. Eight police departments and three county sheriffs' offices have officers educating students on seat belt safety. Two universities conduct statewide observational surveys to determine seat belt and child restraint use.

The Bureau utilizes funds to provide statewide training for child safety seat technicians and child restraint training and educational programs for local communities through Blank Children's Hospital and Mercy Medical Center Foundation. Information on check-up events, fit stations, technicians, misuse, etc. can be found through the Iowa Child Passenger Safety Network 4 steps for kids - Child Safety Seat Logo

A new project being continued by the Bureau is the S.A.F.E. program or Seat belts Are For Everyone. S.A.F.E. Program is a peer-to-peer program at the high school level conducted by students volunteering and facilitated by adult leaders.  The students form a small team and work together to develop and conduct traffic safety activities focused on increasing seat belt use on a monthly or bi-monthly basis throughout the school year.  The goal is to have the message permeate throughout the school and the community to spread the word and change driving behaviors for the better.

Another effort aimed at increaseing seat belt use in rural areas of the state with the lowest observed usage rates is the "High Five" program. High 5 brings traffic enforcement together with media and community outreach to increase seat belt use and reduce serious injury and fatal crashes in these rural areas. High5logo

A program the GTSB has supported for over seven years is conducted by Creative Visions, a non-profit goup aimed at improving the lives of central Iowa teens and familiies. Their teen peer-based mentoring team promotes traffic safety by making the community aware of the dangers of driving while distracted or impaired and injuries or fatalities resulting from the improper use of seat belts. While the messaging is aimed at all drivers, the program places emphasis on minority youths and young adult drivers in urban areas to promote safe driving practices and positive behaviors. They hope to expand the program to more areas of the state.

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Created: 02-07-2006
Last Updated: 01-12-2012 (JGL)
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