safety belts save lives
Primary safety belt laws allow a citation to be issued if a law enforcement officer simply observes an unbelted driver or passenger. Secondary safety belt laws require an officer to stop or cite a violator for another infraction before being able to issue a citation for not buckling up.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed this booklet to make the case for upgrading secondary laws, based on the overwhelming evidence that safety belt use saves lives, reduces injuries, and reduces the economic costs associated with motor vehicle crashes.

As you read the following pages, you will find varying estimates of the potential for increasing safety belt use and the life-saving benefits of primary use laws. These variations are attributable to the different methodologies used and should be viewed in the context of the cited studies.

The appendices provide supplementary information that further illustrates the benefits of safety belt use and that actions taken to support their use make sense. They include fact sheets, identify factors that may influence the legislative process for upgrading secondary laws, list potential supporters for primary enforcement, contain a chart of key traffic safety laws, and provide national and State resources.

In addition to distributing the booklet to garner support, advocates can use the information within to develop speeches, presentation materials, additional fact sheets, and news releases.