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Use of Safety Belts: Enhanced Enforcement Programs

Enhanced enforcement programs are added to normal enforcement practices and include publicity. They fall into two categories: (1) those that increase citations along with increasing the number of officers on patrol (supplemental), and (2) programs that promote more citations during an officer’s normal patrol (targeted).

Summary of Task Force Recommendations and Findings

The Community Preventive Services Task Force  recommends enhanced enforcement programs based on strong evidence of their effectiveness in increasing safety belt use and reducing fatal and nonfatal injuries in a wide range of settings and among various populations.

Task Force Finding

Results from the Systematic Review

Fifteen studies qualified for the systematic review.

  • Observed safety belt use: median increase of 16 percentage points (interquartile interval: 8 to 24 percentage points; 15 studies)
  • Increases in safety belt use were similar for supplemental and targeted patrols.
  • Fatal and nonfatal injuries combined: decreases of 7% and 15% (2 studies)

These results are based on a systematic review of all available studies led by scientists from CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention with input from a team of specialists in systematic review methods and experts in research, practice and policy related to increasing safety belt use.

Supporting Materials


Dinh-Zarr TB, Sleet DA, Shults RA, et al. Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to increase the use of safety belts. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 2.85 MB] Am J Prev Med 2001;21(4S): 48-65.

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Recommendations to reduce injuries to motor vehicle occupants: increasing child safety seat use, increasing safety belt use, and reducing alcohol-impaired driving. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 78 kB] Am J Prev Med 2001;21(4S):16–22.

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Motor-vehicle occupant injury: strategies for increasing use of child safety seats, increasing use of safety belts, and reducing alcohol-impaired driving. MMWR Recommendations and Reports 2001;50(RR07):1-13. External Web Site Icon

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Motor vehicle occupant injury. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 355 kB] In : Zaza S, Briss PA, Harris KW, eds. The Guide to Community Preventive Services: What Works to Promote Health? Atlanta (GA): Oxford University Press;2005:329-84.

Read other Community Guide publications about Motor Vehicle-Related Injury Prevention in our library.

*PDF includes all of the information available and will not be updated.


The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Use of safety belts: enhanced enforcement programs Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: October 2000