Slater Commends California on 90 Percent Seat Belt Use
Topics: Rodney E. Slater
U.S. Department of Transportation
June 24, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 24, 1998
Contact: Bill Adams
Tel.: (202) 366-5580
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater, today commended the people of California for becoming the first state in the nation to achieve a 90 percent seat belt use rate.
"President Clinton has set the goal of 90 percent seat belt use nationwide by the year 2005 because seat belts are the most effective means of reducing fatalities and serious injuries," said Secretary Slater. "Through this remarkable achievement, California will reap enormous benefits in health and safety for its citizens."
Slater stated that if all states maintained an 85 percent seat belt use rate, annually, more than 4,000 deaths and 100,000 injuries would be prevented. Currently, the national buckle-up rate is 69 percent.
Under President Clinton’s Initiative to Increase Seat Belt Use, announced in his December 1996 radio address, the President asked all Americans to wear seat belts as a first line of defense against injuries and fatalities and always to keep children aged 12 and under buckled in the back seat where they are safest. He directed the Secretary of Transportation to develop a plan to increase the use of seat belts nationwide.
The plan, developed by the department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has four elements:
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