Catawba and Caldwell Counties are two of twenty-five North Carolina counties selected as a seat belt survey county to help determine North Carolina’s overall seat belt usage rate, as required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The seat belt usage rate is one of many metrics used by the Governor Pat McCrory’s Vision Zero project which aims to save lives on North Carolina roadways. The governor’s goal is to reach zero traffic-related fatalities through coordinated agency-to-agency efforts that helps reduce risky driving behaviors by changing the overall traffic safety culture.
Surveyors will be in the area throughout the month of June tracking seat belt usage among Catawba and Caldwell County motorists. The decision on what counties to conduct surveys in was based on fatality and road segment data.
In 2015, North Carolina’s seat belt usage rate was 89.9 percent, just slightly below the national standard of 90.0 percent. Catawba County’s usage rate for drivers was 91.8 percent and 88.6 percent for passengers while Caldwell’s was 93.3. North Carolina law requires that all motor vehicle passengers in both the front and back seat to buckle up.
The Click It or Ticket program in its twenty-third year has increased driver seat belt awareness and usage rates and reduced fatalities across North Carolina. Nearly every law enforcement agency in the state participates in the initiative and it is one of the most well-coordinated and cooperative law enforcement efforts of its kind in the nation.
Other survey counties include: Alamance, Brunswick, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Columbus, Cumberland, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Guilford, Harnett, Johnston, Mecklenburg, Nash, Onslow, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Sampson, Wake, Wayne.
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