5. PROGRAM EVALUATION (continued)
5.1.6 Safety Belt Use
Table 13 shows whether or not the drivers stopped in Peoria were wearing safety belts as a function of their gender. Similar data for Phoenix drivers are shown in Table 14. Arizona has only a secondary safety belt law but has shown extremely high safety belt use rates in national surveys. The measured Arizona safety belt use rates for 2002 and 2003, respectively, were 73.7 percent and 86.2 percent (NHTSA, 2004).
Overall, Table 13 shows that 84.6 percent of the drivers stopped for speeding in Peoria were belted. By gender, the table shows that 93.3 percent of the stopped females were belted in contrast to only 74.8 percent of the stopped males.
Table 14 shows that the belt use data for Phoenix are similar to those for Peoria . Overall, 85.1 percent of the drivers stopped for speeding in Phoenix were belted. However, the difference in belt use between males and females was not as pronounced as it was in Peoria . A smaller proportion of females (88.8%) were belted in Phoenix than in Peoria . Also, a larger proportion of males (80.9%) were belted in Phoenix than in Peoria . Across both cities, it is noteworthy that belt use appears unusually high for a population of drivers caught speeding. Perhaps drivers – even those who are speeding – in the residential neighborhood settings studied in this project are simply conscientious safety belt users.
Table 15 shows driver safety belt use by age and gender for Peoria stopped drivers. Similar data for Phoenix stopped drivers are shown in Table 16.
Table 15 shows that 25 percent of stopped males in Peoria who were under age 25 were unbelted in contrast to 9.1 percent of the females. For stopped drivers between 25 and 39 years of age, 32.5 percent of males were unbelted in contrast to 9.5 percent of females. For stopped drivers between 40 and 64 years of age, 19.5 percent of males were unbelted in contrast to 1.9 percent of the females. Finally, for stopped drivers who are 65 years of age and older, 9.1 percent of both males and females were unbelted.
It is interesting that the largest nonuse of safety belts among males was observed for the 25 to 39 age range followed by the under 25 age group. Use of safety belts by males increased at age 40 and above. For females, nonuse of belts was reasonably constant at around 9 percent, except for the age range of 40 to 64 where it dropped to 1.9 percent. However, the number of unbelted females was extremely small in each age range (ranging from one to six).
Table 16 shows that 21.8 percent of the stopped Phoenix males under 25 were unbelted in contrast to 30.6 percent of the females. For males between 25 and 39 years of age, 23 percent were unbelted in comparison to 10 percent of the females. Belt use increased for males aged 40 and above as it did for females. There were no unbelted females aged 65 and above. As was the case with Peoria speeders, the number of unbelted females in each age range category was small.