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Back to Archives | Back to October 2003 Contents 


Patricia Cahill, Executive Director, IACP Foundation; Strategic Plan Administrator, IACP; and Advisor to the National Chiefs Challenge Program

Survey Says . . .

Safety belt use in the United States has reached an all-time high of 79 percent, up from last year's average of 75 percent, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. The findings, released at an August press event, are estimates based on the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), an assessment performed every year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

NOPUS also showed that states with primary safety belt laws averaged 83 percent compliance; the compliance rate in states with secondary laws hovered around 75 percent. As in past years, occupants of pickup trucks were among the least likely to wear belts at 69 percent, whereas occupants of SUVs and vans topped the list at 83 percent.

What is the compliance rate in your jurisdiction? Traffic safety enforcement saves lives every day. Remind your citizens to always buckle up.

For more information on NOPUS or other occupant protection issues, please visit

Are Your Officers Saved by the Belt?

Your troopers, officers, and sheriffs are on the road enforcing primary or secondary seat belt laws, but are they showing any sign of self-restraint? Remind your officers that safety belts save the lives of law enforcement personnel every day.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Incorporated, auto accidents were the second leading cause of death for law enforcement officers in 2002 (

Your agency can not only set an example by having every driver buckle up but also have an officer who qualifies for the IACP's Saved by the Belt Award. This program was established to recognize law enforcement officers who have survived a traffic crash, on or off duty, due to the proper use of safety belts. For more information on this program, please call Richard Ashton, project manager, at 800-THE-IACP, extension 276, or send an e-mail message to him at

In-Car Camera Evaluation

The IACP Research Center is currently working on an evaluation project to assess the impact of in-car cameras among state police and highway patrol agencies. The Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) recently awarded the IACP a grant to

  • determine how grants of equipment affect police policy and practices and
  • understand how in-car video cameras affect community policing, specifically issues of trust between citizens and officers.

At the conclusion of the project, researchers anticipate producing a model policy on police acquisition, operation, and management of in-car cameras and video recorded evidence and a best practices executive brief on in-car cameras.

For more information on this project, please call Project Director Grady Baker at 800-THE-IACP, extension 839, or send an e-mail message to him at

Mark the Dates and Get Mobilized

You still have more than a month to prepare for the next big mobilization date for safety belt enforcement. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend mobilization will run from Wednesday, November 26, to Sunday, November 30, 2003. Soon after that mobilization, start organizing for the IACP Holiday Life Saver Weekend, Friday, December 19-Sunday, December 22, 2003, during National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Month.

For more information on public education and media material, please visit and select Products and Media Materials.

J. Stannard Baker Award Winners Announced

Sponsored by IACP, NHTSA, and the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, the prestigious J. Stannard Baker award annually recognizes individual law enforcement officers and others who have made significant outstanding lifetime contributions to highway safety.

This year, the following winners will be honored at the Highway Safety Awards Breakfast at the 110th Annual IACP Conference in October in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

  • State Category: Colonel Lonnie J. Westphal, chief (retired) of the Colorado State Patrol
  • Municipal Category: Sergeant John M. Lourenco of the Virginia Beach, Virginia, Police Department

To read more about the Baker Award and the accomplishments of this year's winners, please visit

Your Traffic Safety Concerns

Is there a topic you would like to see addressed in Highway Safety Initiatives? Call Patricia Cahill at 800-THE-IACP, extension 367, or write to her at


From The Police Chief, vol. 70, no. 10, October 2003. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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