DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Prior to the May 2005 Click It or Ticket (CIOT) mobilization, the six States in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Great Lakes Region (GLR) implemented a Rural Demonstration Program (RDP) to increase seat belt usage in rural areas. Paid advertising, designed to alert rural residents that seat belt laws were being enforced, was a key component of the rural targeted effort. During this phase, three States (Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio), intensified their enforcement but, the remaining three States (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin), only implemented the paid media. All six States then implemented a second wave of paid media, along with intensified enforcement during CIOT. All six States conducted telephone, motorist, and observational surveys to monitor statewide and rural changes in awareness and seat belt usage.
Four States targeted reasonably large rural segments of their populations, while two States targeted much smaller segments. Media expenditures averaged $212,000 per State during the RDP phase and $516,000 per State during CIOT, but per capita expenditures in targeted areas were highest during the RDP. About two-thirds of the media funds were spent on television, with much less spent on radio, newspapers, and outdoor advertising. Gross rating points far exceeded the objective of 300 to 400 GRPs per target market. While only half the States intensified enforcement during the RDP, all States did so during CIOT. Overall, about 130,000 citations for seat belt violations were issued over the two phases of the program, an average of 25 citations per 10,000 residents.
In rural targeted areas, awareness of seat belt messages increased most during the RDP, while awareness of enforcement-related messages and activities increased most during CIOT. During the RDP, awareness in rural targeted areas increased relative to statewide levels. By the end of the mobilization, however, rural and statewide awareness levels were similar on nearly every index.
During the RDP, States that had intensified enforcement experienced significant increases in usage in their rural targeted areas. During CIOT, when all States intensified enforcement, five of the six States experienced significant increases in rural targeted areas. While all States experienced significant increases in usage by the end of the mobilization, only the three States that intensified enforcement during the RDP showed increases in rural targeted areas that were greater than statewide increases.
The following figure shows a median 7-point increase in usage in rural targeted areas, compared with a median 5-point statewide increase. There were substantial differences between States that intensified enforcement during the RDP and States that did not. Specifically, there was a 9-point median increase in the targeted areas of the three RDP-enforcement States, compared with a 3-point increase in the non-enforcement States. Thus, the rural estimates of change in the three enforcement States were considerably greater than the statewide estimates, indicating that two waves of enforcement (i.e., RDP
Overall Change in Seat Belt Usage
*Enforcement during RDP media period
The following table contains median usage rates and changes for multiple subgroups included in the observational surveys. The far right column indicates how many States contributed data relating to each subgroup. Overall, this table shows that there were substantial differences in the usage rates of males versus females, younger versus older occupants, and occupants in pickups versus other vehicles. With regard to change, the largest changes occurred during CIOT.
Results of Observational Surveys in Rural Targeted Areas
In summary, the addition of enforcement to paid media during the RDP appears to have added to the impact of the overall mobilization in those areas. Generally, usage did not increase unless enforcement was present and two waves of enforcement appeared to be more effective than one wave.