Ten years ago, during June 2002, the Washington Legislature passed a bill changing the seat belt law from a secondary to a primary law, meaning that law enforcement officers could issue a seat belt ticket when there was no other citable traffic infraction. That year, the seat belt use rate in Washington jumped 10 points from 82.6 to 92.6 percent.
During the past ten years, traffic deaths on Washington roadways are down 29 percent and serious injuries are down 28 percent, while vehicle-miles traveled increased 6.6 percent over this same period. (Source: FARS, WSDOT)
Studies show seat belt use decreased the chance of dying in a crash by 60 percent and reduces the risk of head injury by 80 percent.