Today's News

Time to get tough on seat belt slackers

May 29, 2001
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
The first-ever national report card on vehicle safety from the National Safety Council gives 19 states Ds and Fs for driver and passenger safety. States that score the highest, such as California, achieved success through strong seat belt laws that are strictly enforced, according to the Council. As a whole, the report calls the nation's performance "unacceptable”.

"The U.S. ranks behind virtually every other developed country when it comes to seat belt use, " says Alan McMillan, president of the National Safety Council. "We are killing kids and destroying families on our highways."

Seat belt use in the U.S. has increased from 58 percent to 71 percent in the past five years. In comparison, Canada has a 92 percent seat belt rate.

The report gives California the only A in recognition of its 89 percent seat belt use (the highest in the country) and tough seat belt law that is well-enforced — all resulting in dramatically lower fatality rates. Eight states receive Fs: Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas and New Hampshire.

These states fail because of weak seat belt laws (which prevent officers from stopping drivers because they are unbelted), seat belt usage rates below 58 percent, and predictably large numbers of fatalities per capita. New Hampshire fails in large part because it has no adult seat belt law. North Dakota has the lowest seat belt usage rate of any state — 48 percent.

The National Safety Council believes enforcement is the ticket to greater seat belt use. Its top priority: standard enforcement seat belt laws should be adopted in every state. Funds should not be used for any new educational programs unless they can be shown to “actually increase seat belt use,” according to the Council.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.


Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon



Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/30/14 2:00 pm EST

Leveraging Sustainability Initiatives to Benefit Your Community and Increase Compliance

This webinar will review how General Motors' Sustainability initiatives are being leveraged to improve the community and the environment, create efficient energy programs, improve sustainability tracking, impact on processes and overall reporting and improve overall social, environmental and corporate sustainability.

ISHN Magazine


2014 September

ISHN'S September issue features a series of essay on thought leadership. Get expert advice on self-motivation, compliance and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.