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					                                      Seat Belt Safety

         Motor Vehicle Safety on
             Tribal Lands                                                  suggestions for preventing death due to
                                                                           motor vehicle crashes and apply it in their
As Indian people, we have to drive, since                                  own way.
our reservations are often remote and even a
trip to the grocery is a few miles drive. We                                  Seat Belt Campaign: It is thought that
drive to work, to the tribal clinic, to local                                  campaigns like the California’s “Click-
tribal events and some even hit the pow                                        it-or-Ticket” do not reach the boundaries
wow trail in our cars. The more we drive                                       of the Reservations or Rancherias
the higher our chances of being in a motor                                     because once our people reach their
vehicle collision becomes.                                                     land, they can take off their seat belts
                                                                               since there is no threat of being ticketed,
  In almost every motor vehicle crash                                         especially for those nations that do not
   there are predictable and preventative                                      employee tribal police. Taking this into
   risks that people take.                                                     account, some tribes have taken the
                                                                               initiative to work with local police to
In 55% of all crashes that result in death, the                                create an ordinance to increase
driver or other passengers 16 and older were                                   enforcement on tribal lands. Other tribes
not wearing a seat belt¹. This comes out of                                    have developed seat belt campaigns in
the mindset that “it will never happen to me”                                  creative and effective ways through
but the truth is that buckling your seat belt is                               simple strategies such as poster contests.
the easiest and most predictable way to                                        Holding a poster contest is a great way
prevent injury in a crash.                                                     to get the community involved and to
                                                                               create a community wide sense of
                                                                               ownership and pride for the message
                                                                               behind the campaign. For tribes

                Proven Solutions                                                that have already implemented this
                                                                                method, they have taken the local art
Although there is no simple solution to                                         submitted by the community and
eliminating motor vehicle crashes in Indian                                     developed buckle up signs to post
Country there are some strategies that tribes                                   throughout their community. When seat
have the opportunity to undertake. In                                           belt campaigns are combined with
recognizing that each tribe is unique both                                      increased enforcement on the land many
culturally and politically, each tribe has the                                  tribes have seen an increase in seat belt
opportunity to examine the following                                            use by 20% within the first couple
 ¹ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Characteristics of Unrestrained Passenger
 Vehicle Occupant Fatalities 16 and Older in Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes by Time of Day DOT HS 810 948. 2006
 crash data. Accessed online 5/20/2008.
 ²Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. CDC Partners with Tribes to Reduce Motor Vehicle
 Injuries. One page fact sheet updated October 23, 2007.
                          Seat Belt Safety

                                              Using the Toolkit

                                              In this section of the toolkit you will find a
                                              host of resources that will assist you in not
                                              only the basics of seat belt safety, but also a
                                              tool for data collection in your local
                                              community. Collecting local data for your
                                              Tribal community is important for two
                                              reasons: 1) observations will allow you to
 Adoption of Primary Enforcement             track usage rates and identify particular
  Laws: To date, few tribes have taken        problems in your Tribal communities; 2) this
  steps to adopt primary enforcement laws     data can be used in grant applications
  to cite and enforce the need to wear seat   towards increasing seat belt use in your
  belts, drive according to posted speed      community.
  limits and driving under the influence.
  We know that when laws are enforced         You will find a Power Point to educate your
  along with making the environmental         community, a brochure to pass out at
  changes (such as posting seat belt signs)   community events, and a list of resources.
  and educating the community on motor        Conducting community events and
  vehicle crashes, seat belt use rates        educational campaigns is both fun and
  increase along with increasing the          rewarding because you are ensuring the
  number of lives saved of those involved     safety of your community members!
  in motor vehicle crashes.

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