Seat Belt Surveys

Survey seat belt usage by students leaving the school parking lot(s)

Announce the percentage of those using safety belts sometime during the school day and encourage students and staff to help improve the numbers.  Display and publish your charted results for the student body annually. • Coordinate with the SAFE Delaware County Coalition coordinator for supplies and share data with the Delaware Public Health District

Materials needed:  SAFE Delaware County Coalition coordinator; Observers – student volunteers; Survey Forms (provided by SAFE Coalition); Clipboards, pens (provided by SAFE Coalition)

To Complete the Activity:

Step 1: Contact the SAFE Delaware County Coalition coordinator to set up dates to conduct your Seat Belt Observational Surveys Make a plan to document the activities with photos and/or video that can be released with survey results.

Step 2: Conducting Your Seat Belt Observational Surveys. Conduct two unannounced seat belt observational surveys. One will be conducted first semester, at the beginning of your campaign (pre-observational survey). The second (post-observational survey) will be conducted second semester at the end of your campaign.

Step 3 :Selecting Your Observation Times.  Be sure to choose your observation times when the highest number of vehicles are entering or exiting the school parking lots.  Immediately before and after school are the most optimal observation periods.   Be consistent with your time of day for each survey; for example, if you conduct your first survey in the morning, conduct your second survey in the morning.  Each observation period must be held for a minimum of 30 minutes or until the parking lot has mostly cleared (or filled).

Step 4: Select Your Observation Teams: Two people are needed for the observation team: one observer and one recorder.  Students, teachers, parents, or other community members may serve on the observation teams.  The observer will observe and then verbally give the information to the recorder.  The recorder will use a small stack of Data Collection Forms (forms provided) on a clipboard to fill out the data according to the ongoing verbal statements of the observer.  Observers: Make sure you are able to clearly see the vehicle, driver, and front window seat passenger.  Sample as many vehicles as possible within the collection period while maintaining accuracy and randomness (for example, do not skip all SUVs because they are difficult to see into). An example of what the observer might call out would be, “Two occupants, driver is belted, passenger is not belted.”

Step 5: Select Your Observation Point.  The safety of the observation team is the first priority.  When selecting specific locations to stand for observations,  NEVER place yourself in a dangerous spot for the sake of collecting data.  Be sure to stand in a place that drivers entering and exiting the parking lot may CLEARLY see you.  Choose a safe spot that is CLEARLY visible to drivers.  Avoid driveways.  Stand in the parking lot, on a curb, on a sidewalk, or on the shoulder of the road.  Observe cars going in one direction only (entering OR exiting the parking lot).

Step 6: Get Permission and Prepare for Questions.  Coordinate all seat belt observations with the appropriate school authorities.  Be sure to let school officials know exactly when and where your surveys will take place.  If asked by motorists what you are doing, indicate that you are involved in a traffic study. Keep your interactions to a minimum.  If someone accuses you of collecting personal or private data, assure the individual that no personal data is being recorded.  If at any time you feel uncomfortable with a person or situation, immediately suspend the data collection and return to your school.

Step 7: Collect Your Data.  As field observers, the observation teams are the key link in this effort.  Observation teams are to collect data on all varieties of motor vehicles, including cars, pickups, vans, and SUVs. Observation teams are to observe drivers, and front seat, right-side passengers. Do not observe front seat middle passengers or back seat passengers; it’s difficult to see if these passengers are belted, and you have a small amount of time to collect information.  Only shoulder harnesses, properly used, should be recorded (if tucked behind the back, do not record as being used)

Step 8: Completing the Final Survey Form.  The last stage of the safety belt observation is entering the information you recorded on the Data Collection Forms onto the Final Collection Form.  Review the results with the SAFE Coalition Coordinator.  Share the data and insights from the surveys with students, staff and parents.

Submission Instructions: 

To Get Your Points:

  1. Complete the activity as described above.
  2. This activity can be submitted for points twice during the school year p once during fall semester and once during spring semester.
  3. Take photos/video of students participating in the activity.
  4. Click "Submit Points." You may submit for points two times during the school year – once each semester. 4. Fill out the online submission COMPLETELY
  5. Enter the name and email of the submitter
  6. Upload your photos/video and a brief description of the activity (including the date of completion and any people pictured in the photo).
  7. Multiple individual classroom presentations or school assemblies will only be approved as one submission 8. Schools must take new photos with and submit these pictures to earn points again for the current year.
  8. Points for all award levels will be counted instantaneously, but the Silver Award will not be granted until a participating school has earned the Bronze Award!

Share photos and video to school social media sites

Facebook #ReduceTeenCrashesDelCoOH

Twitter @ReduceOHCrashes

Instagram @reduceteencrashesdelcooh

Questions? Contact Jackie Bain, SAFE Delaware County Coalition coordinator at or 740-203-2083.