The use of feedback to increase
observed daytime seat belt use in two cities in North Carolina.
Accident Analysis and Prevention. 28, 1996, 771-777.
Well publicized enforcement programs in North Carolina have
raised seat belt use to about 80%. In an effort to find
techniques to raise belt use further, signs providing feedback
to drivers on belt use rates were introduced in two communities,
Asheboro (population 18,000) and Greensboro (population
183,000). Feedback signs remind motorists about belt use
and imply a constant and vigorous enforcement presence.
The signs were prominently posted by the roadside at high
volume locations; belt use information was changed weekly
based on observational surveys. Observed daytime driver
belt use in Asheboro increased from an average of 75% before
the signs to 89% after the signs were established. At urban
sites in Greensboro, driver belt use increased from 80%
to 86%. Right front passenger belt use increased significantly
in Asheboro but not in Greensboro. There were no changes
in belt use at two interstate exit sites in Greensboro.
Reasons for the differential success rates may relate to
differences in initial belt use rates, community size, amount
of publicity, and numbers of encounter with the signs. It
is clear, however, that feedback signs can be an important
supplement to belt use enforcement programs.