Surveyors contracted through the Institute for Transportation Research and Education will be in select North Carolina counties throughout the month of June observing and recording seat belt usage by drivers and passengers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires states to complete a seat belt usage survey each year. Fifteen counties were selected by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program to determine North Carolina’s overall usage rate.
In 2016, North Carolina’s seat belt usage rate was 91.7 percent, just slightly above the national standard of 90 percent. State law requires that motor vehicle passengers in both the front and back seats use their seat belt.
The annual seat belt survey overlaps with the Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign, which began on May 22 and ends on June 6.
The Click It or Ticket campaign, now in its 24th year, has reduced fatalities across North Carolina by increasing driver seat belt awareness and usage rates. Nearly every law enforcement agency in the state participates in the initiative, and it is one of the most well-coordinated and cooperative law enforcement efforts of its kind in the nation.
The annual seat belt survey is occurring in the following counties: Alamance, Buncombe, Catawba, Cleveland, Columbus, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Nash, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Wake, and Wilkes. Counties were selected based on fatality and road segment data.