This publication is distributed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the interest of information exchange. The opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Transportation or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. If trade or manufacturers' names or products are mentioned, it is because they are considered essential to the object of the publication and should not be construed as an endorsement. The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.
 DOT HS 809 272
2. Government Accession No.
3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Process and Outcome Evaluation: The Buckle Up America Initiative

5. Report Date
July 2001
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

M.G. Solomon, W.A. Leaf and W.J. Nissen

8. Performing Organization Report No.


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Preusser Research Group, Inc.
7100 Main Street
Trumbull, CT 06611

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 7th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes

Dr. Linda Cosgrove served as the NHTSA Contracting Officer's Technical Representative for the study.

16. Abstract

America (BUA) was a national initiative announced January 1997 directing the Department of Transportation (DOT) to prepare a plan to increase seat belt usage nationwide. In response, the DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed a plan to increase national seat belt use to 85 percent by 2000, and decrease fatalities to children under the age of five by 15 percent by 2000. Program evaluation data included multiple sources of seat observation results, Fatality Analysis Reporting System data (FARS), and the collection of law enforcement citation data. Case studies were conducted in locations showing exemplary progress. Seat belt use rates increased after the inception of BUA. However, in 1998, only five states and the District of Columbia were at or above 80 percent belt use; all are jurisdictions having primary seat belt laws. Child restraint use improved markedly for children under age five and fatalities decreased dramatically (-11.9%). By the end of 1998, BUA was nearing its goal of reducing child fatalities by 15 percent, but was still well short of the goal of 85 percent belt use nationwide.

17. Key Words

Buckle Up America
Seat belts
Primary enforcement

18. Distribution Statement
19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized