More Massachusetts Residents Using Their Seat Belts

August 13, 2009

Massachusetts residents are getting the message about seat belt use.

State public safety officials say the number of people wearing seat belts rose from 67 percent in 2008 to 74 percent this year.

National surveys have shown that Massachusetts drivers have in the past had the lowest rate of seat belt use in the nation.

Sheila Burgess, director of highway safety for the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, tells The Boston Globe the increase in seat belt use due to public awareness campaigns and increased enforcement by police.

Massachusetts has a so-called secondary seat belt law, which means police can only issue a citation if they have first stopped the vehicle for another reason.

Some lawmakers have pushed for tougher laws.

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