The TRL seat belt survey has observed the use made of seat belts and other types of restraint by car occupants twice yearly since 1988. The survey sites were chosen to represent conditions in urban and rural areas, on all types of road, in two extensive areas centred on Crowthorne and Nottingham. While this focus on two areas has been effective in identifying trends in restraint use, it has not provided information about the situation in other parts of England. The survey was extended in 1998 to collect information from other areas in order to build up gradually a broader picture of seat belt wearing across the country. Observations have been made in two additional areas each summer, using the same technique and staff as the main survey, and ten additional areas had been surveyed by 2002. Some variation was found between areas in the wearing rates for drivers and front seat passengers, the highest being found in the Norwich area and the lowest in Kent. Wearing rates were lower for rear seat passengers, especially among adults, and adult rates varied considerably between areas; the highest rates were again found in the Norwich area. (A)

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