Pilot program leads to higher safety belt use among truckers

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Newly released statistics show that a national pilot program conducted in Virginia on Interstate 95 between Petersburg and Fredericksburg increased safety belt use among truckers by 11.5 percentage points in less than one month.

Before the program, a survey showed that fewer than 59 percent of truckers were wearing their safety belts; a post-campaign survey indicated that 70 percent were buckling up.

Federal guidelines require that truckers wear their belts, and Virginia State Police enforce this guideline.

The program featured a media blitz, as well as stepped-up enforcement of the safety belt law for truckers. During the first week of the three-week project, truckers were informed of the initiative through a variety of public information methods, including alerts on CB radio, mobile billboards that traveled up and down I-95, truck stop events and radio announcements. Enforcement was stepped up for the second and third weeks of the program, May 23 through June 5, with the public information activities continuing as well.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration funded this project. The initiative ran at the same time as the national and statewide “Click It or Ticket” campaign, an annual effort to get all motorists to buckle up.