1998 SURVEY RESULTS

CHAPTER 6

ATTITUDES TOWARD ENFORCEMENT OF
CHILD RESTRAINT LAWS

 

Support For Enforcement Of Car Seat Laws

The public (age 16 and older) favors stringent enforcement of car seat laws. Interviewers asked respondents their opinion of how strict police enforcement of child car seat laws should be. Respondents were asked to answer on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 meant that police should hardly ever give a ticket for a car seat violation and 10 meant that police should give a ticket at every opportunity. Three-in-five persons (60%) believed that the police should issue a ticket at every opportunity.

Figure 66  

Figure 66. Level Of Support For Enforcing Car Seat Laws

Qx: How do you personally feel about the police enforcement of child car seat laws? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means police should hardly ever give tickets and 10 means police should give a ticket at every opportunity for violations of child car seat laws, how strict should police enforcement be?
Base: Total population age 16+.
Unweighted N=4121 *** Less than 0.5%

 

Females were more likely to call for strict enforcement of the car seat laws than males: 65% of females believed that police should ticket at every opportunity versus 53% of males.

Figure 67  

Figure 67. Level Of Support For Enforcing Car Seat Laws By Sex Of Respondent

Qx: How do you personally feel about the police enforcement of child car seat laws? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means police should hardly ever give tickets and 10 means police should give a ticket at every opportunity for violations of child car seat laws, how strict should police enforcement be?
Base: Total population age 16+.
Unweighted N's listed above.

 

Sixty percent of non-Hispanics favored police giving a ticket at every opportunity for violations compared to 57% of Hispanics. The gap was wider between blacks and whites: 54% of blacks favored ticketing at every opportunity versus 61% of whites.

Figure 68  

Figure 68. Level Of Support For Enforcing Car Seat Laws By Race/Ethnicity Of Respondent

Qx: How do you personally feel about the police enforcement of child car seat laws? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means police should hardly ever give tickets and 10 means police should give a ticket at every opportunity for violations of child car seat laws, how strict should police enforcement be?
Base: Total population age 16+.
Unweighted N's listed above.

 

The presence of a young child in the household made relatively little difference in the level of support for enforcing car seat laws. Sixty-three percent of persons who had a child under the age of 6 in the household favored ticketing at every opportunity, as opposed to 59% who did not have a child in that age range living in their household.

Figure 69  

Figure 69. Level Of Support For Enforcing Car Seat Laws By Presence Of Child Under Age 6 In Household

Qx: How do you personally feel about the police enforcement of child car seat laws? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means police should hardly ever give tickets and 10 means police should give a ticket at every opportunity for violations of child car seat laws, how strict should police enforcement be?
Base: Total population age 16+.
Unweighted N's listed above.

 

Regardless of their attitude about police enforcement of child car seat laws, respondents age 16 and older were asked what they thought the minimum fine should be for violation of the laws. A majority (56%) believed the fine should be $50 or more, with almost one-third of the public (32%) favoring a fine of $100 or more.

Figure 70  

Figure 70. Preferred Minimum Fine For Violation Of Car Seat Laws

Qx: What do you think the minimum fine should be for violation of child car seat laws?
Base: Total population age 16+
Unweighted N=4121

 

Attitudes About Occupant Restraint Requirements For Children Who Outgrow Car Seats

Ninety-four percent of persons age 16 and older agreed that children should be required by law to wear seat belts once they have outgrown car seats, while 3% disagreed. Two percent believed that it depended on the age of the child, while 1% said they did not know if there should be a seat belt requirement.

Figure 71  

Figure 71. Children Should Be Required To Wear Seat Belts When They Have Outgrown Car Seats

Qx: What about when children outgrow a child car seat? Do you agree or disagree that they should be required by law to wear seat belts when riding in a vehicle?
Base: Total population age 16+
Unweighted N=4121

 

Those respondents who agreed that children should be required to wear seat belts after outgrowing car seats, or said it depended on the child's age, were asked if there was an upper age limit beyond which children should not be required to wear seat belts. The vast majority (85%) rejected the notion of an upper age limit by saying that seat belt use should be required for all children (which equated to 81% of the total population age 16 and older). The remaining respondents either offered a specific age as an age limit, reversed their previously stated support for the seat belt requirement, or said they did not know if there should be an age limit.

Figure 72  

Figure 72. Age At Which Children Should No Longer Be Required To Wear Seat Belts

Qx: What about when children outgrow a child car seat? Do you agree or disagree that they should be required by law to wear seat belts when riding in a vehicle?
Qx: How old do you think children should be before they are not required by law to wear seat belts or do you think all children should be required to wear them?
Base: Total population age 16+
Unweighted N's listed above.

 

As stated on the previous page, 81% of the public age 16 and older believed that all children should be required to wear seat belts after outgrowing car seats (85% of the 95% who agreed there should be a requirement or said it depended on the child's age). Females (86%) were more likely to favor the requirement for all children than were males (75%).

Figure 73  

Figure 73. Believe Children Of All Ages Should Be Required To Wear Seat Belts If They Are Too Big For Car Seats By Sex Of Respondent

Qx: What about when children outgrow a child car seat? Do you agree or disagree that they should be required by law to wear seat belts when riding in a vehicle?
Qx: How old do you think children should be before they are not required by law to wear seat belts or do you think all children should be required to wear them?
Base: Total population age 16+
Unweighted N's listed above.

 

The clear majority of persons in each racial/ethnic category analyzed in this report believed that all children should be required by law to wear seat belts after outgrowing car seats: 83% of blacks, 81% of whites, 80% of Hispanics, and 81% of non-Hispanics.

Figure 74  

Figure 74. Believe Children Of All Ages Should Be Required To Wear Seat Belts If They Are Too Big For Car Seats By Race/Ethnicity

Qx: What about when children outgrow a child car seat? Do you agree or disagree that they should be required by law to wear seat belts when riding in a vehicle?
Qx: How old do you think children should be before they are not required by law to wear seat belts or do you think all children should be required to wear them?
Base: Total population age 16+
Unweighted N's listed above.

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