High school aged drivers and passengers have been found to buckle up more frequently in states that have primary-enforced seat belt, also called the popular ‘click it or ticket’ laws, reports HealthDay.com, citing an American Public Health Association news release.
The state of Virginia practices secondary-enforcement seat belt laws, meaning that a Police officer must witness another traffic violation before citing one for not wearing a seat belt. A primary law allows law enforcement to pull over and ticket the driver and passengers of a vehicle exclusively for not buckling up.
The American Journal of Public Health reports that primary seat belt laws decrease the rate of death in traffic collision.
The study examined information gathered in a 2006 National Young Driver Survey from 3,000 high school student drivers, and found that these teens were 12% less likely to buckle up as a driver, and 15% less likely to do so as a passenger than teens driving in states with primary-enforced seat belt laws.
The study, led by Dr. J. Felipe Garcia-Espana of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s hospital of Philadelphia, also found that students that were academically challenged, rural, black, or drove pick-up trucks had exceptionally lower rates of seat belt use.
Perhaps it is time for Virginia to take a second look at their secondary-enforced seat belt laws for the good of our state’s teen drivers.
If you or your teen has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need the experience of Parrish Law Firm, PLLC to protect your driving freedoms. Please call us at 703-906-4229 today, or contact us for a free initial consultation.