Reaching High Risk Drivers Through Nighttime Seat Belt Enforcement (Washington State)

Seat Belt Use Demonstration Projects

Nighttime traffic safety is a priority for NHTSA. The nighttime passenger vehicle occupant fatality rate is about three times higher than the daytime rate. Data show a decline in belt use among fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants as it gets later in the evening, reaching the lowest levels between midnight and 4 a.m. as the graph below shows. Increasing seat belt usage among occupants traveling at night could substantially lessen injury and fatality rates.

In 2006, NHTSA awarded a cooperative agreement to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to conduct seat belt enforcement at night. While Washington State has one of the highest daytime belt use rates in the country, it was experiencing a high number of unrestrained fatalities at night. This three year effort will include multi-jurisdictional enforcement efforts in the major cities of Washington, supported by earned and paid media. This project includes a scientific evaluation of the results. Visit the WTSC website at, for detailed information about their program, the Washington State Patrol law enforcement training video, program planning documents, data collection sheets, talking points and preliminary findings.

Region 8 (CO, NV)

Nighttime Seat Belt Use
Region 10 (WA)

Pickup Truck Projects
Region 4 (Southeast)
Region 6 (South Central)
Region 7 (Central)

Rural Initiatives
Region 4 (FL, GA, TN)
Region 5 (Great Lakes)
Region 7 (KS, MO)
Region 8 (ND, WY)