Safety Belt Use in Northeast Florida

According to a 2021 survey by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), statewide use of safety belts increased slightly, from 89.8% in 2019 to 90.1% in 2021. Of the 18 counties in FDOT District Two, three were surveyed in 2021. Safety belt use in Northeast Florida increased in two out of the three counties surveyed. We are proud of these Alachua and St. Johns counties for making the list of high-usage counties!

Survey Results in 2021 for Safety Belt Use in Northeast Florida and Statewide

Usage Rates:
• Alachua County 95%
• St Johns County 92.1%
• Statewide Average 90.1%
• Duval County 87.3%

Alachua County Safety Belt Use Rates Highest in Florida

Congratulations, Alachua County, for having the highest usage rates in the state again! Survey results showed that Alachua equaled its highest-ever use rates, at 95.0%, and ranked #1 overall statewide. Alachua has been a long-time winner with buckling up. We are proud of Alachua for consistently remaining at the top of usage rates in Florida.  

St. Johns County Rates Highly in Safety Belt Use

Kudos to St. Johns County for maintaining an above-average usage rate. St. Johns came in at the fifth-highest county in the state with a 92.1% safety belt use rate (a tie with Lee County). Since 2018, St. Johns has rated over 90% safety belt use.

Duval County Safety Belt Use Needs Improvement

We have work to do in Duval County! Of the 2021 counties surveyed, Duval ranked the secondlowest safety belt use rate in the state, at 87.3% (followed only by Volusia at 84.%). Plans are for extensive efforts to provide resources, tools, and support to Duval County by educating others on the importance of buckling up. The FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) has many occupant protection resources on its website and social media platforms.


Other Survey Results and Trends

Florida’s 2021 survey results show safety belt use differed by road type. Motorists on higher speed roads are buckling up more, while usage on local, lower speed roads are least likely buckled up. The highest use of safety belts was on interstate highways, at 93.1%, followed by principal arterials at 91.9%. The lowest usage was on local roads, at 87.6%, and minor arterials at 87.3%.

Safety belt usage also differed by vehicle type. Occupants in pickup trucks have exhibited lower usage than those in other vehicle types every year of the survey. SUV occupants frequently used their safety belts at 93.7%, car occupants at 90%, van occupants at 89.9%, and pickup occupants at 81.6%.

Survey results consistently indicated that females were more likely to wear a safety belt every year. In 2021, 92.9% of females buckled up, versus men, at 87.6%.

Occupants ages 35–39 buckled up 91.8% of the time, and those ages 16–34 buckled up the least, at 88.7%. Prior surveys show a similar pattern in usage among age groups. 

Overall, safety belt usage has shown an upward trend over time. The 2021 results indicate progress in use among occupants traveling on higher-speed roadways and certain types of vehicles (SUVs). Results also indicate where improvement is still needed among the low belt use groups, including occupants of pickup trucks, black occupants, and occupants traveling on lower-speed roadways.

FDOT State Safety Office administered the annual survey. State survey sites and locations were based on recent traffic fatality counts in 15 Florida counties. Click here to view the Safety Belt Use in Florida 2021 Final Report. (Note: No survey was conducted in 2020.)


One-Click Does the Trick for Occupant Protection

  • Wear your seat belt for every ride.
  • Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.
  • Secure children in a proper child safety seat.
  • Safety belt use isn’t just a good idea; IT’S THE LAW.

Your Traffic Safety Team provides a large variety of occupant protection materials via our website and social media channels.

Resources include:

Safety Belt Law History

In 1986, Florida implemented its first adult safety belt law. Safety belt use before the law was at 22% statewide. From 1999 to 2004, Florida’s use rate increased from 59% to just over 76% due to FDOT’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign and other efforts across the state. In 2009, Florida passed a primary enforcement safety belt bill, and safety belt use has increased since the law’s passage. Working together, we can continue to increase safety belt use and reduce fatalities and injuries on our roadways.

“Always Buckle Up … for Your Family. For Yourself. For LIFE.” 
No Regrets When You BUCKLE UP!

Be Tough Enough To Buckle Up!

Traffic Safety for Children

Safety rules at home, school and around the neighborhood. The Northeast Florida Department of Transportation District Two Community Traffic Safety Program has developed special educational content highlighting traffic safety for children. It is never too early to educate kids on safety rules – at home, at school, and around the neighborhood.

Materials include the “Safety Town” activity booklet, coloring pages, social media graphics, and videos. Please share these free resources with children in your family, classroom, or neighborhood!

Traffic Safety Videos for Kids:

Free Traffic Safety Coloring Sheets & Activity Book for Children:

Great Safety Tips for Kids:

Stroll and Roll the Right Way!

  • Walk & ride during the day when it is light out.
  • Have a buddy with you.
  • Don’t enter the road between parked cars.
  • Cross the street at a corner or crosswalk.
  • Look left, right, & left again before crossing a street.
  • Sidewalks are the safest place to walk or ride.
  • Wear a helmet every time you bike or skate.
  • Ride your bike with the flow of traffic.
  • Obey traffic signs & signals.

Children Must Wear a Bike Helmet… It’s the Law!

Florida state law requires all riders under 16 years of age to wear a helmet when on a bicycle. Additionally, any bicycle passenger aged 16 or younger, like small children riding in a bike seat or trailer, must also wear a helmet. This applies if they are on the sidewalk, road or other public roadway. The helmet must meet federal guidelines. All bike helmets should be properly fitted and securely fastened on the head with a strap.

Stranger Danger!

  • Never go up to a car or to someone you don’t know.
  • Have a safe place and people you can go to in an emergency.

Traffic Safety Storytime Videos for Children:

It is important to educate children on traffic safety, so we made four traffic safety story time videos. Two of the videos were read by kids, for kids! The books include “Watch Out On the Road,” “Learn About Road Safety,” “Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again,” and “Franklin Rides a Bike.”


More traffic safety resources and activity sheets for children can be found by visiting the link  below:

VIRTUAL Traffic Safety Spring Bike/Walk/Run

FREE VIRTUAL EVENT
April 23, 2022 – April 30, 2022
Get out and move for safety!

FDOT District 2 Community Traffic Safety Program invites you to join the traffic safety movement with this fun bike, walk or run challenge – our first ever VIRTUAL Traffic Safety Spring Bike/Walk/Run!

We created this event to raise awareness about the importance of traffic, pedestrian and bicycle safety. In 2021, there were 875 pedestrian-related crashes in our Northeast Florida counties; 92 of those were fatalities. There were 500 bike-related crashes in 2021, which includes 13 fatalities. By working together, we can reduce injuries and save lives on our roadways! 

VIRTUAL Traffic Safety Spring Bike/Walk/Run Rules

Complete your own 5K – that’s 3.1 miles and a great distance for beginners or exercise regulars. You can choose to cycle or two-foot it by walking, jogging, or running. If you choose to cycle, please be sure to wear a helmet! You may finish your 5K on any day, at any time, and from any location – starting on Saturday, April 23 and ending on Saturday, April 30.

Important: This event is virtual only. The registration page and emails you receive will note that the event is taking place in Jacksonville, however, there is no in-person race. 

REGISTER HERE for the VIRTUAL Traffic Safety Spring Bike/Walk/Run

Invite your family and friends to join the Traffic Safety Spring Bike/Walk/Run. Be one of the FIRST 10 PARTICIPANTS to upload their results to the dashboard and WIN a FREE Traffic Safety Team hat! Everyone is a winner and will receive a FINISHER certificate. Most importantly, we want you to BE SAFE and HAVE FUN! Be sure to check out our Pedestrian Safety Tips and our Bike Safety Tips before your challenge!

Important Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Reminders for Motorists

“If only I’d been watching for pedestrians.” No Regrets When You DRIVE WITH CARE

Pedestrians are a vulnerable road user. Whether walking for enjoyment, exercise or engaged in work on the roadway, they need to be safe. Our goal is to increase driver awareness and education of pedestrian traffic safety. When driving, always remember to:

  • Stop for pedestrians crossing at every intersection.
  • Be sure to stop before tuning right on red. 
  • Look in all directions before making a turn. 
  • Do not pass a vehicle that is stopping for pedestrians.
  • Obey the traffic laws, signals and speed limits.

“If only I’d been watching for bicyclists.” No Regrets When You SHARE THE ROAD

With more and more people riding bikes as a means of transportation, exercise and recreation, it’s important for drivers and riders to be extra careful and obey the rules of the road. Drivers should always follow these basic traffic guidelines:

  • Share the road with bicyclists.
  • Stop before turning right on red.
  • Passing bicyclists too closely is dangerous and illegal. You must give 3 feet when following or passing cyclists.
  • Focus on the road. 
  • Avoid aggressive driving.
  • Obey the traffic laws, signals and speed limits.

Click here to download a printable bike and pedestrian safety flyer for motorists.


Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Pedestrians

  • Wear bright colors. Increase your visibility and use bike lights/reflectors.
  • See and be seen. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.
  • Be predictable. Cross streets where it is legal to do so.
  • Stop! Look left, right, and left for traffic.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected.

Bicyclists: Wear a helmet when biking. If a rider or passenger is under 16, they must wear a helmet that is properly fitted that securely fastens to the passenger’s head by a strap. Ride on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic. Use bike lanes when available. Use hand signals when turning and obey all traffic signs and signals.

Walkers and Runners: Always cross the street at corners or crosswalks. Walk or run on the far left off the side of the road, facing traffic. Use sidewalks when available. Pay attention. Constantly look and listen for vehicles.

Click here to for more bicycle and pedestrian safety tips.

UPDATED Florida Bike Safety Law

We are concerned Florida is still one of the most dangerous states for cyclists and want to take this opportunity to remind cyclists, pedestrians and motorists of the updated Florida bike safety law. Passed to improve bike safety on our roadways, this bill went into effect on July 1, 2021, and was .

Here is a summary of some of the updated Florida bike safety law changes which were made to the existing statute:

  • Motorists can make a right turn while passing a bicyclist only if the bicyclist is a minimum of 20 feet from the intersection.
  • Florida driver’s license exams will now include bicycle safety questions.
  • Cyclists in groups of 10 or fewer can proceed through an intersection after coming to a complete stop. Motorists must let the last rider pass before proceeding.
  • Motorists MUST obey the 3 feet passing law.

Drivers who do not obey the law could be subject to a non-criminal moving violation.

To read more about these important updates, visit the Florida Senate website: CS/SB 950: Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety.

Northeast Florida Bicyclist Crash Facts:

  • 6,146 Floridians were injured in bike-related crashes in 2021. Of those, Northeast Florida DOT District 2 reported 500 injuries, which includes 13 fatalities. The number of fatal injuries from bicycle crashes declined from 23 in 2020.
  • Bicycle fatality and serious injury crashes made up about 8% of the total fatality and serious injury crashes on our Northeast Florida District roadways during 2021.
  • Almost ¾ of all bike crashes happen in broad daylight.
  • Bike crashes tend not to be the result of the cyclist or motorist being impaired.
  • Duval County had the most serious bike-related injuries and fatalities in District 2 in 2021. 
Wear bright colors

The Traffic Safety Team website has dozens of important bicycle safety tips and resources. They are available for free. Below are some that you may download, print and share.

Visit our Bicycle Safety page for more resources. Materials are free to download and share. There are bookmarks, tip cards, posters and social media graphics. We also have a Safety for Kids page with bike safety activities!

Give 3 feet when passing

Be Our Virtual Volunteer

Be a Community Traffic Safety Team “Virtual Volunteer” – It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

traffic safety virtual volunteer logo

Become a virtual volunteer! As part of our Northeast Florida Department of Transportation’s Community Traffic Safety Program, we create and share original traffic safety reminders and tips on our social media channels several times per week! Topics include Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan key emphasis areas to work towards zero fatalities and serious injuries on our local roadways.

Each year, we have thousands of combined views and impressions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube, but we need your help.

Join us and help change behavior and save lives! You can do this by:

  • Liking or following us.
  • Sharing or reposting our content (don’t forget to tag and/or mention us).
  • Inviting others to follow us.
  • Repeat!

Connect with the Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Team on social media!

Volunteering without being physically present is not new. For years, volunteers have been off-site and have used the telephone, fax and postal mail to communicate. However, the revolution in information technology has opened up many new possibilities for volunteering and giving back to your community.

Even prior to the COVID-19 healthcare crisis and social distancing, there has been an increase in working from home. Virtual volunteering is a wonderful way to take advantage of contributing volunteer work over the internet. Social media has opened the door to expand the reach of our traffic safety tips and campaigns.

Benefits of Virtual Volunteering:

  • Increase community awareness.
  • Minimal investment of your time.
  • Flexible to your schedule with no time constraints.
  • Easy and feels good to send positive messages.
  • Help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on your local roadways.

We also love sharing YOUR photos, stories and events! You can email us at TrafficSafetyTeam@dot.state.fl.us. Be sure to let us know how to tag and mention your organization on social media!

traffic safety virtual volunteer thank you
Thank you for your time and consideration!