Seat Belt Usage Rate Nets $5 million for West Virginia

May 2, 2008

West Virginia’s efforts to encourage motorists to buckle up have paid off.

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $5 million grant April 30 to the governor’s highway safety program because the state has one of the highest seat belt usage rates in the nation.

Vice Admiral Thomas J. Barrett, deputy secretary of Transportation, says West Virginia was among five states with a seat belt usage rate of at least 85 percent for two years. The state’s usage rate was 88.5 percent in 2006 and 89.5 percent in 2007.

The grant will be used to buy electronic reporting equipment and to fund driver behavior programs and impaired driving prevention efforts.

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