COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol recently released a new dashboard devoted to safety belt enforcement and education, furthering its emphasis that the use of safety belts by the motoring public continues to be a top priority for troopers.
The Safety Belt Dashboard is a detailed view of unbelted crashes across Ohio, and safety belt violations. The Safety Belt Dashboard can be viewed at http://www.SafetyBeltDashboard.ohio.gov.
“One of the easiest and most effective ways for motorists to avoid serious injuries or death in a crash is by wearing their safety belt,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “This new dashboard highlights those who have been saved by wearing a safety belt and raises awareness on the importance of buckling up every time you travel.”
Safety belt compliance in Ohio has averaged 84% since 2016, but when compared to the national average of over 90%, troopers say there is much more work to be done.
The new Safety Belt Dashboard is a part of the Ohio Statistics and Analytics for Traffic Safety (OSTATS), which is a series of internal and public-facing dashboards dedicated to exploration, analysis, and visualization of crash data across Ohio. Users of the public-facing Safety Belt Dashboard have the ability to filter data, find specific county and route statistics and see the life-saving results of buckling up.
In addition, an interactive map shows photos of recipients of the Patrol’s “Saved by the Belt” award, which recognizes motorists who avoided life-threatening injuries by making the decision to wear their safety belt. The interactive map also shows the location and description of the crash, as well as photos of their vehicles.
“Troopers see the devastating results of unbelted crashes firsthand, which is why safety belt usage remains a top concern,” said Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent. “This dashboard furthers the Patrol’s prioritization of saving lives. The new Safety Belt Dashboard is a tool for the public, media, and policymakers to see how important it is for motorists to buckle up – every trip, every time.”
Since 2017, there have been over 254,000 unbelted crashes in Ohio, with over 2,500 of those crashes resulting in fatalities. During the same timeframe, troopers have issued over 516,000 safety belt citations. Motorists are reminded to follow speed limits, always buckle up, and never drive impaired or distracted.
The dashboard also allows visitors to look at information by county. In Fulton County over the last year there have been two unbelted crashes resulting in fatalities. There were also 11 where a serious injury was suspected and 11 where minor injury was suspected.
Safety belt use in Fulton County has been higher than the state average since 2016, according to the Annual Observational Survey of Seat Belt use. It was above 90% each year, with the exception of 2021 when it was 85.9%.