Seatbelt use requirements

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Seat belts function by restraining a passenger and absorbing some of the crash force in the event of an accident. As a result, Seat Belt use requirement refers to laws or regulations which allowing enforcement officers to ticket a driver or a passenger for not wearing a seat belt. The requirements are intended to increase the share of passengers who are protected by seat belts in the event of accidents, thereby reducing the rate of injuries and death from vehicle accidents. Seat belt use requirements vary from state to state. It also depends on the age of the riders and in what seat he or she is sitting.


CONCEPT


Goals


Conceptual Example

Car crashing has been one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Each year around 4000 people are killed in motor vehicle crashes[1]. So, the state seeks to reduce the car crash death due to the nonuse of seat belt. To accomplish this goal, they publish the laws and regulations allowing police to ticket drivers and passengers who are not wearing seat belt. As the result, the rate of injuries and deaths in vehicles crashes is decreased. People also form the habit to wear the seat belt when driving.

Specific Example

The first seat belt law was a federal law, Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, which took effect on January 1, 1968, that required all vehicles (except buses) to be fitted with seat belts in all designated seating positions. This law has since been modified to require three-point seat belts in outboard-seating positions, and finally three-point seat belts in all seating positions. Initially, seat belt use was not compulsory. New York was the first state to pass a law which required vehicle occupants to wear seat belts, a law that came into effect on December 1, 1984.[2]

U.S. seatbelt legislation may be subject to primary enforcement or secondary enforcement. Primary enforcement allows police to stop and ticket a driver if the driver and passenger are not buckled up.

Secondary enforcement allows police to issue a citation the driver only if the driver is first stopped for another infraction (like speeding, running at the stop sign, etc.)

Specific laws vary from states to states. And it also depends on the age of riders and in what seat the driver and passenger sitting. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), states with primary enforcement laws average 83 percent safety belt use while states with secondary enforcement laws average about 75 percent use.


Tradeoffs

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Tradeoffs of implementing this policy may include:

  1. Different laws may confuse drivers when they drive from one state to another.
  2. This policy may be costly and difficult to enforce if reliant for police to ticketing.
  3. Implementing this policy increases the workload of police.
  4. People might think this policy would infringe their individual liberty.
  5. Enforcing this policy would negative impact passengers' comfort.


Compatibility Assessment

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If answered yes, the following questions indicate superior conditions under which the policy is more likely to be appropriate:

  • Is there significant number of injuries and deaths from automobile accidents in the jurisdictions that could be prevented or mitigated by seat belts?
  • Would the cost of enforcing and informing this law to public be covered by the media?
  • Is automobile transportation prevalent within the jurisdiction?
  • Are vehicles in the jurisdiction equipped with seat belts?
Design

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Assuming that a jurisdiction has decided to adopt the policy, the following questions will need to be answered when determining how to implement this policy:

  1. What will be the penalties who fail to comply with seat belt use requirements?
    1. It depends on different sates. Each state has different regulations about the penalties.
  2. How will seat belt use requirement be enforced?
    1. US seat belt use is subject to primary enforcement and secondary enforcement.Primary enforcement allows police to stop and ticket a driver if the driver and passenger are not buckled up.
    2. Secondary enforcement allows police to issue a citation the driver only if the driver is first stopped for another infraction
  3. Will the laws of using seat belt apply equally across all taxpayer classes or they will be applied differently?
    1. It should be considered that whether or not the high income taxpayer should be required to pay greater fine.
  4. What types of vehicles, if not all, will be subject to the seat belt use requirements?
    1. Specific laws could be various depending on the different types of vehicles.
  5. Which types of passengers, if not all, will be subject to the seat belt use requirements?
    1. Specific laws vary greatly from state to state, depending on the age of the rider and in what seat he or she is sitting.
    2. 50 states have some form of child safety seat law, which cover children up to age 16 in every seating position.

ADOPTION


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PolicyGraphics
Adopters
  • Notable entities who have implemented or adopted this policy include:


STAKEHOLDERS


Supporters

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Opponents

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REFERENCES


Research

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Resources

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Footnotes
  1. [1]. (2016). Occupant Protection|Safety Belt and Child Passengers. National Conference of State Legislatures.
  2. [2] (2016). Seat Belt Laws. Government Highway Safety Association.
  3. INSERT a reference.
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