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Record seat-belt usage in Illinois

Friday, Aug 31, 2012

* From a press release…

Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois has achieved an all-time high seat belt usage rate in 2012. Federal observational surveys showed that 93.6 percent of front-seat passengers were using seat belts as of June, up from 92.9 percent last year and above the national average of 84 percent. The governor credited this significant public safety achievement to impactful awareness campaigns, motorist compliance, strategic partnerships with state and local law enforcement, and strengthened traffic safety legislation. Governor Quinn also urged travelers to drive safely during the Labor Day weekend.

“Labor Day Weekend should be a time of parades, barbeques and baseball, not sitting in a hospital ER, wondering if a loved one will survive a crash,” Governor Quinn said. “Seat belts save lives, and Illinois’ high seat belt usage rate is the result of our comprehensive efforts to ensure that drivers in Illinois are buckling up. When traveling this Labor Day, make sure everyone is buckled up, including those in the back seat, and such precious cargo as infants, the elderly and pets.”

Prior to the primary safety belt law, police could not pull a driver over based solely on a seat belt violation. Since the primary belt law was enacted in July 2003, belt usage has climbed each consecutive year, going up 17.4 percentage points from 76.2 percent in 2003 to nearly 94 percent in 2012.

“Through our effective partnerships with law enforcement and advocacy groups across Illinois, we have been able to achieve a record rate of seat belt usage,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. “The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is working diligently toward 100 percent statewide usage and to help drive zero road fatalities to reality.”

Additional legislation signed by Governor Quinn last summer required that all passengers buckle up, including those riding in the back seat of vehicles, to help further prevent traffic accident-related injuries or fatalities. Along with successful awareness programs and enforcement efforts, these laws have helped lead to an overall reduction in fatalities on Illinois roads over the last ten years.

Do you always buckle up?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Robert the Bruce (formerly just Robert) - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 10:55 am:

    Yes. Two years ago, thanks to my wife’s insistence, I got in the habit of buckling up even when I’m in the back seat. I hadn’t realized that back seat buckling up was the law

  2. - Rich Miller Sr - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    Yes I always buckle up! Not doing so is a mark of stupidity.

  3. - Springfield Dan - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 10:57 am:

    So PQ has that going for him…….

  4. - Just Observing - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 10:57 am:

    Always — I think its incredibly stupid not to. That being said, except for children, I don’t think the state has the right to mandate it.

  5. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 10:58 am:

    Ever since the creation of the modern three point safety belt, I have always buckled up

  6. - Colossus - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 10:59 am:

    Every time. Small kids in the car, got to set a good example.

    Plus I don’t like the idea of giving the police an excuse to pull me over and fill some quotas.

  7. - Ken_in_Aurora - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:01 am:

    Always - I’ve even worn out seatbelts in my car requiring them to be replaced!

  8. - Shore - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    yes, but I am now incredibly scared to death about smart phone usage by kids and people while they drive. If it hasn’t already been introduced or done some legislator who reads this has my permission to introduce legislation banning any phone use and imposing stiffer fines on texting while driving.

  9. - Way Way Down Here - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    Always. I see way too many people nearly cross the center line into my oncoming lane. ALL of them are looking down at their phones.

  10. - ArchPundit - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:03 am:

    Always. I flipped a car three days after getting my license (yeah, I know). The only damage to me was a small, small nick on my finger from crawling out the windshield space. Well and my ego.

    Another time I was hit and it kept me behind the wheel and in control of the car.

  11. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    I buckle up 100% of the time. It is such a routine habit, I sometimes buckle the seatbelt when I move the car out of the garage to get something on the shelf behind.

  12. - Just Observing - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    ArchPundit: Don’t feel bad… I got in my first car accident five days after getting my license (albeit not too bad).

  13. - Jimmy87 - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    No I do not, I know I should, but I don’t - especially in low speed areas while dressed in work attire. I don’t particularly like wearing the seat belt in a shirt and tie, even if I take off my jacket. I know it’s a dumb reason and you won’t get any argument from me, but I hate the fact that Illinois (rather, the insurance companies) mandates it.

    Furthermore, the notion that IDOT thinks they can “help drive zero road fatalities to reality,” is extremely disillusioned. Zero road fatalities? Please. That’s never going to happen, seat belts or not.

  14. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:18 am:

    Are the elderly cargo? Do they make seatbelts for dogs?

  15. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:20 am:

    Archpundit, I was pulled over for drag racing near my high school less than a week after I got my license. I was driving my parents’ Datsun 510 station wagon and the cop thought it was so hilarious that I was racing in such an automobile that he let us go. Never did that again.

  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:20 am:

    And if the elderly are cargo, does this mean Mitt can just strap ‘em to the roof?

  17. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:25 am:


    Or maybe the Obama approach of having them FOR lunch?

  18. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:25 am:

    Always. The law came into effect a few years after I got my license, and I resented it at first. But I was just a dumb kid.

    It’s funny to remember the strong backlash against the law back then. Kind of like the ban on smoking on trains and planes.

  19. - ArchPundit - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:27 am:

    Rich-before I got to the officer letting you off, I was laughing at racing in a Datsun 510.

    The officer who came out to the accident kind of looked at it, looked at me, and said, “Can I trust that you have learned your lesson here.”

    “Yes sir”

    No ticket–not that I was that worried about a ticket at that point.

  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:31 am:

    By the way, I was racing a Mustang. I recall the cop being impressed that I would take on such a car.

  21. - ArchPundit - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    Was there a victor?

  22. - OneMan - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:45 am:

    Yep, thanks to the wife who used to work ICU in Springfield and an accident we came upon years ago where we didn’t realize at first what we thought was a pile of clothes was a person who had been tossed from the car.

  23. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:54 am:

    Yes. I actually now feel self-conscious if I don’t immediately buckle up. Who says you can’t train an old dog?

  24. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    Always wear wear restraints provided in cars and airplanes, helmet on the track…

    I don’t move the car if any occupant is unbelted.

  25. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    I always buckle up, because it’s easier to be safe than sorry. I have seen too many accidents it’s not worth the risk, or the horror stories my cousin who is a paramedic tells of what he has seen or people who did not use seatbealts. People do come out of an accident in so much better condition with seat belt use. Ask any paramedic.

  26. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    Always. Been rear-ended on the highway and am grateful to my belt.

  27. - titan - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    I got myself into the habit of buckling up every time I dirve or ride. Always carseated the kids too.

  28. - Rich Miller Sr - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:08 pm:

    15 years ago today Princess Di and two others were killed in a car racing around city streets, one person survived-the only one wearing a seatbelt! Evan royalty can be stupid!

  29. - dupage dan - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 1:45 pm:

    I always buckle up & wear a helmet when on a motorcycle. Got tossed off a motorbike once years ago and landed on my head. Helmet protected me from anything more than a mild concussion. A person not wearing a seat belt is a fool.

  30. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 2:51 pm:

    Given the lack of policymakers’ and law enforcement’s support for basic right-of-way and lane usage rules, seat belts and helmets have proven useful.

  31. - walkinfool - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 2:54 pm:

    Yep. Along with always demanding it of my passengers. Got into the habit in pilot training.

  32. - reformer - Friday, Aug 31, 12 @ 4:43 pm:

    This is a classic case of the powerful educational function of law.

    In 1985, the year the first mandatory use law was enacted, just 15% of Illinois motorists buckled up. Today it’s nearly 94%. An incredible change in behavior leading to a marked reduction in fatalities.

    My libertarian friends are reluctant to admit that government can ever do anything good. They still don’t like safety belt use laws, despite the proven effectiveness.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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