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2017 Seat Belt Use Report

The simplest 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 93% statewide seat belt usage rate, the Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau is working diligently to increase belt usage, reduce injuries 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 160 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. Multiple agencies have media related grants that provide statewide exposure to occupant protection messaging via newsprint, radio, the web, theaters and TV. Officers from several police departments and county sheriffs' offices routinely educate students on seat belt safety across the state. Statewide observational surveys (seatbelt surveys) to determine seat belt and child restraint use are conducted by law enforcement agencies, the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

Child Passenger Safety

The Bureau utilizes funds to provide free statewide training for child safety seat technicians, child restraint training and educational programs for local communities through Blank Children's Hospital and Mercy Medical Center Foundation. These programs include check-up events and fit stations. Both programs are essentially the same: a certified child passenger safety technician assists caregivers with proper car seat installation and child positioning within a child restraint.  The technician also assures the child restraint is not on the recall list or expired per manufacturers’ instructions. 

Check-Up Event: A one-time event that takes place on a designated date during a specified time frame at a designated location. Times, dates and locations are predetermined and provided through the educational program websites. This is a non-recurring activity.

Fit Station:  A “fit station” is a more permanent or consistent concept of a check-up event. Currently, a fit station is held at Bob Brown Chevrolet, Urbandale, IA for the greater Des Moines metro on the first Thursday of every month from 5:00 pm- 7:00 pm. The fit stations are conducted year-round.

Information on check-up events, fit stations, technicians, improper use, etc. can be found through the Iowa Child Passenger Safety Network
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The GTSB supports Creative Visions, a non-profit group aimed at improving the lives of central Iowa teens and families. Their teen peer-based mentoring program promotes traffic safety awareness of the dangers of distracted and impaired driving as well as 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.

 

 

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