“Click it or ticket” may be the law in many parts of the United States, but it’s not in Massachusetts, which currently has one of the lowest seat belt usage levels in the country.
According to a study prepared for the state by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, the use of safety belts has declined slightly from last year, and now sits at about 73%. Among teenagers seat belts are used less than 69% of the time, a decrease in 3.6 percent from last year.
These numbers have inspired the creation of the Belts Ensure a Safer Tomorrow (BEST) coalition. BEST has renewed its demand that lawmakers in Massachusetts make the lack of seat belt use primary offense, which would allow police offers to stop drivers not wearing them. At present, officers can only enforce seat belt laws if the motorist is being pulled over for another offense.
While seat belt use doesn’t directly affect car insurance, safer drivers do tend to have lower rates.