If you do not buckle up when you're in the car, you're in a small, small group. Front-seat safety belt usage in Illinois is up to 95.2 percent, up from 94.1 percent a year ago. Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Brian Williamsen says in addition to awareness efforts, elevating the seat belt law to primary enforcement – that is, the police can pull you over and ticket you simply for that – takes the credit.
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“Since 2003, that usage rate went up from 76.2 percent. That's a 19 (percentage point) increase in about twelve years since the passage of the primary seat belt law,” Williamsen says. Researchers eyeballed 155,175 drivers and front-seat passengers to create what Williamsen says is a reliable, representative sample of the state.