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 both Alachua and St. Johns 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 High 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.


Occupant Protection Messages in Response to Low Usage Rates

Occupants Ages 16-34: Be Savvy… Buckle Up
Occupants in Pickups: Buckle Up in Your Truck

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.)


Additional Occupant Protection Information and Resources

  • 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.

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!

Ride Safe Activity Cards

The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) distributed 15,000 Ride Safe Activity Cards throughout all 18 counties of FDOT District Two in May 2021. They are available for free at your local library.

Seat Belts Save Lives activity cards
Ride Safe Activity Cards – Buckle Up Activity Card with Occupant Protection and Child Passenger Safety Tips

Libraries are a wonderful place for community members to access educational and informational resources at no cost, and for our Community Traffic Safety Teams to promote key traffic safety messages, like driving safe, always wearing your safety belt, stopping distracted driving and sharing the road. This Ride Safe activity card is double-sided with a car safety crossword and child safety seat maze activity.

Seat Belts Save Lives activity card

We have also created this free digital, one-sided 8.5×11 Ride Safe, Occupant Protection resource available here for downloading, printing and sharing with your community.

The FDOT District Two covers 18 counties, from rural to urban communities. Our Northeast Florida CTSP has partnered with local, county public library systems for many years. Our goal is to help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on our roadways through education and community outreach.

Ride Safe: Remember to Always Buckle Up for Every Car Ride!

This Ride Safe Activity Card, occupant protection and child passenger safety, free educational resource is part of a series. The Drive Safe and Bike Safe pieces are available online below, and Walk Safe will be distributed this Fall. Each piece has a different activity or puzzle with important traffic safety tips and reminders.

Bike Safe Activity Card

Pick up a free Bike Safe Activity Card at your local Northeast Florida library. The Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) distributed 15,000 Bike Safe activity cards this month to public libraries in all 18 counties of FDOT District Two. 

Be a Roll Model artwork
Bike Safe Activity Card with Traffic Safety Tips for Cyclists and Motorists

This Bike Safe Activity Card is double-sided with a helmet coloring page and a word search puzzle for kids or adults. There are bicycle safety messages for drivers and cyclists. The helmet safety rules are great for parents, caregivers and educators to discuss with children.

About the Bike Safety Activity Card Series

These free educational resources are part of a series that will be distributed quarterly this year. First, Drive Safe became available in January. Now, Bike Safe, launched in spring, which will be followed by Ride Safe this summer. Finally, Walk Safe in the fall. Each has a different activity or puzzle with important traffic safety tips and reminders.

The Northeast Florida CTSP has long since partnered with local, county public library systems. The FDOT District Two covers 18 counties, from rural to urban communities. Libraries are a wonderful venue for the public to access educational and informational resources. The are also a wonderful place for our Community Traffic Safety Teams to promote key traffic safety messages, like biking safe (wear a helmet) and driving safe (share the road).

Be a Roll Model activity card

We created this free digital, one-sided 8.5×11 Bike Safe sheet available here for downloading, printing and sharing with your community.

Our goal is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on our Northeast Florida roadways and protect all road users. Together, we can make traffic safety a top priority. Check out the other three safety and educational activity cards in this series below:

The Northeast Florida CTSP website has many tips and resources available. For more Bicycle Safety Tips, click here.

Drive Safe Activity Cards

The Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) distributed 15,000 Drive Safe activity cards throughout Northeast Florida in January. They are available for free at your local library.

Drive Safe Activity Card
Drive Safe Activity Card Available for Free at Northeast Florida Public Libraries

This Drive Safe activity card is double-sided with two coloring pages for kids or adults. There are traffic safety messages for drivers which are also great conversation starters for parents to discuss with children.

Download, print and share this free Drive Safe activity sheet here – a single sided, 8.5×11 print quality digital file.

The FDOT District Two covers 18 counties, from rural to urban communities. Our Northeast Florida CTSP has partnered with local, county public library systems for many years. Libraries are a wonderful venue for the public to access educational and informational resources, and for our Community Traffic Safety Teams to promote key traffic safety messages, like driving safe, always wearing your seat belt, stopping distracted driving and sharing the road.

These Drive Safe educational materials are part of a series that are also available: Bike Safe, Ride Safe and Walk Safe. Each has a different activity or puzzle with important traffic safety tips and reminders. Our goal is to help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on our roadways. Together we can make traffic safety a top priority.

Buckle Up Buddy Heart

Sweetheart Craft for Valentine’s Day

We are introducing our Buckle Up Buddy Heart! We are bringing some fun back for Valentine’s Day. It’s time to get crafty with the kiddos (or for those of us who are just a kid at heart). Don’t be afraid of pink and red, lots of hearts, and even some glitter. This is a unique Valentine holiday craft with a simple traffic safety message.

Buckle Up Buddy Heart Artwork
Make your own Buckle Up Buddy Heart Valentine!

You and your family or school class can make these easy Buckle Up Buddy Hearts. The arms and legs bounce and jiggle… make us smile and want to giggle while remembering the importance of buckling up!

This is a cute DIY craft for any time of year. Kids can make a Buckle Up Buddy Heart for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or as a birthday card. In addition to being a fun art project, it also sends a positive traffic safety message. Occupant protection is always a primary concern. All drivers and passengers should be properly restrained with a lap and shoulder seat belt, and children should be correctly strapped into the right car seat that fits their size.

Download this free printable Buckle Up Buddy Heart Valentine craft sheet and follow the instructions. 

Buckle Up Buddy Heart – Valentine Craft
Template by Northeast Florida DOT District Two

Community Traffic Safety Team

SUPPLIES:

  • white card stock (or heavy paper)
  • crayons or markers
  • glitter or glitter glue (optional)
  • scissors
  • glue or glue stick
Buckle Up Buddy Heart Activity Card

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Download and print the free template provided above.
  2. Color and decorate the hearts.
  3. Cut out all the pieces.
  4. Fold arms and leg strips like an accordion.
  5. Glue the arms and legs onto the big heart.
  6. Finally, glue the small hearts on to create hands and feet.

You can write a personalized message on the back of your Valentine card. We like, “Be Mine. Be Safe. Be Buckled Up.” Don’t forget to give your special Buckle Up Buddy Heart to someone you love. Or leave it in the car as a reminder to all those you love to wear their seat belt for every car ride.

https://trafficsafetyteam.org/traffic-safety/buckle-up/