South Jersey Transportation & Planning Organization (SJTPO) recently released the results of its 2011 Seat Belt Survey. The annual project was awarded to Rodriguez Consulting LLC, a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) in the State of New Jersey, in March, 2011 and was completed in June, 2011.
The survey revealed that 93% of all motorists in the SJTPO region wore seat belts in 2011, the same as the 93% seat belt use rate in 2010. The use rate of 93% is seven-tenths of a point below the New Jersey statewide rate in 2010, and well above the 85% national rate for motorists reported that year. Hand-held cell phone use by the drivers of the vehicles was also documented in the survey. Use decreased from 5% in 2010 to 4% in 2011.
This year’s study involved two special projects, observations of seat belt use in commercial motor vehicles as well as back seat passenger and child restraint compliance. In the first special project, observations were made of seat belt use in commercial motor vehicles (CMV) at 17 sites in the region. The results of this effort were compared to a CMV similar study from 2009 and the results showed a 10% increase in seat belt usage among CMV motorists. http://www.sjtsa.org/2011seat%20belt%20final.pdf
In the second special project, observations were conducted on seat belt use of back seat passengers and child restraint compliance. This project involved observations at nine locations in the region in cooperation with local police agencies. Seat belt use among back seat passengers was 59.1% while compliance for child restraints was 89.1%.