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State Safety Office

State Safety Office / Programs / Occupant Protection & Child Passenger Safety

Occupant Protection & Child Passenger Safety


Occupant Protection/Child Passenger Safety

Correctly using a child restraint for a young child or wearing a safety belt by older children and adults is the single most effective way to save lives and reduce serious injuries in crashes. Research has found that lap and shoulder combination safety belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45% and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50% (NHTSA, 2011). 

Face the Facts

  • In 2013, nearly half of the motor vehicle occupants who died in crashes were unrestrained.

  • Among young adults 18 to 34 years old killed in crashes, 61 percent were completely unrestrained - the highest percentage of all age groups.

  • In 2013, there were 638 children who where 12 years of age or younger killed in motor vehicle crashes.  Of those fatalities, 38% were unrestrained.

  • Men make up the majority of those killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes.  In 2013, about 65% of the 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants killed were men. So it comes as no surprise that they wear their seat belts at a lower rate than women do – 54% of men in fatal crashes were unrestrained, compared to 41% for women.

  • Of pickup truck occupants killed, 63% were not buckled up; compared to 43% of passenger car occupants. Regardless of vehicle type, seat belt use is the single most effective way to stay alive in a crash. (NHTSA, 2013). 


Current Seat Belt Use Rate: 89.6%

Occupant Protection Grants

Child Safety Grants



Our Partners


Occupant Protection Program requires a combination of legislation and use requirements, enforcement, communication, education, and incentive strategies necessary to achieve significant, lasting increases in seat belt and child safety seat usage. Programs receiving grant funding in this priority area are focused on three major program related categories:

  1. Legislation, Regulation and Policy: Programs to enact and enforce occupant protection use laws, regulations, and policies to provide clear guidance to the public concerning motor vehicle occupant protection systems.
  2. Communication Program: Programs that enlist the support of a variety of media, including mass media, to improve public awareness and knowledge and to support enforcement efforts to about seat belts, air bags, and child safety seats.
  3. Occupant Protection for Children Program: Programs to aid in the compliance with and enforcement of protection laws that require the correct restraint of all children, in all seating positions and in every vehicle.

Programs should focus on seat belt use awareness, enforcement, special needs, teens, minority programs, and other education programs. This area also includes establishing or expanding child passenger safety inspection stations, child passenger safety awareness training, school bus safety, special needs training, and other child passenger safety programs. Items eligible for funding under this category may include: educational materials, survey materials, variable message boards, child safety seats, inspection station supplies, trailers for use as mobile inspection stations, and public awareness materials.

All program areas funded with grant funds are required to have an evaluation method that will allow assessment of the funded program's level of success in reducing fatalities and injuries.

Occupant Protection Incentive Grants (Section 405-B)

Purpose: To encourage states to adopt and implement effective occupant protection programs to reduce highway deaths and injuries resulting from unrestrained or improperly restrained vehicle occupants.

Use of Funds: To implement and enforce occupant protection programs

The following are what 405-B Occupant Protection Incentive Grants funding can reimburse:

  • High-visibility enforcement mobilizations including paid media

  • Training of occupant protection safety professionals, police officers, fire and emergency medical personnel, educators and parents about all aspects of the use of child restraints and occupant protection

  • Public education concerning proper use and installation of child restraints including related equipment and information systems

  • Community child passenger safety services, including programs about proper seating positions for children and how to reduce the improper use of child restraints

  • Purchase and distribution of child restraints to low-income families (maximum of 5 percent of funds apportioned in a fiscal year)

  • Establish and maintain occupant protection information systems, including the collection and administration of child passenger safety and occupant protection surveys

Click It or Ticket Campaign


The Florida Highway Patrol employs a Roll-Over Simulator to demonstrate the benefit of seat belt use.


click it or ticket campaign logoFlorida Law requires that all drivers and front seat passengers use seat belts when the vehicle is in motion.  In addition, all persons under 18 years old are required to be restrained by a seat belt or child restraint device. FS 316.614

Short high-visibility enforcement campaigns are a proven high cost countermeasure.

The Florida Highway Patrol participates in the Click It or Ticket Campaigns.


2016 Memorial Day Florida Click It or Ticket Mobilization    May 16 – June 5, 2016

A Click It or Ticket (CIOT) campaign is a high-visibility, mass enforcement effort designed to detect violators of Florida’s traffic laws with special emphasis on occupant protection.  An intense paid media campaign will be run concurrently with the enforcement blitz to inform the motoring public of the benefits of safety belt use and of issuing tickets for safety belt violations.  The model program includes 1) data collection, before, and immediately after media and enforcement phases; 2) earned and paid media announcing strict enforcement; 3) highly-visible enforcement each day of the two-week enforcement period. The 2016 Memorial Day Florida CIOT Mobilization consists of the following components:

1. Earned Media

2. Paid Media

3. Enforcement

4. Evaluation

Media Markets: Miami-Ft. Lauderdale; Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota); Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce; Pensacola; Ft. Myers; Gainesville; Tallahassee; and Panama City.

Paid Media: television, including Spanish: 32%; radio, including Spanish: 39.3%; and alternative media (digital radio/streaming, online display & video, social, outdoor digital bulletins and print):  28.5%.

Earned Media: An estimated nine media events will be planned in each media market with a satellite uplink for other media markets to pick up the story.  OP Coordinators will plan earned media events throughout the month.

Enforcement: Local and state law enforcement agencies will be conducting saturation patrols and occupant protection enforcement zones.

Focus: Males 18–34 Years of Age, pickup truck drivers, African Americans and Hispanics.

Message: Click It or Ticket

Goal: Increase Safety Belt Usage

2016 Florida Click It or Ticket Resources

Earned Media CIOT Mobilization

The 2016 Florida CIOT Earned Media:  May 16 – June 5, 2016  

This timeframe will be used to announce the 2016 Florida CIOT mobilization enforcement period, as well as the results of the mobilization efforts. 

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Public Information Officers (PIOs), FDOT Community Traffic Safety Team District Coordinators, and the Florida Highway Patrol’s PIOs will be utilized to promote the 2016 Memorial Day Florida CIOT Mobilization message during the mobilization wave.  The assistance from the PIOs in Florida will greatly increase earned media coverage for the CIOT mobilization.  Their responsibilities will be to:

  • Disseminate 2016 Memorial Day Florida CIOT Mobilization materials/information;
  • Forward to the FDOT Traffic Safety Office any 2016 Memorial Day Florida CIOT Mobilization photos taken during an event and/or enforcement effort; and
  • Work with their local law enforcement liaisons to encourage law enforcement officers to attend scheduled events in order to have a strong enforcement presence.

Paid Media CIOT Mobilization

The 2016 Florida CIOT Paid Media:  May 16 – 23, 2016

Florida will conduct an intensive paid media campaign, the primary focus of the paid media campaign will be: males age 18–34; pickup truck drivers; African American and Hispanic populations.  Special emphasis also will be directed at the geographical areas with the lowest usage rates.  The paid media campaign is expected to cover approximately 100% of the state with the 2016 Florida CIOT message.

FDOT considers paid and earned media a vital and necessary part of the overall highway safety process and proposes the following 2016 CIOT campaign in FY 2016:


Enforcement Period CIOT Mobilization

The 2016 Florida CIOT Enforcement Period:  May 23 – June 5, 2016 

During this time law enforcement agencies participating in the 2016 Florida Law Enforcement Challenge will conduct increased enforcement activities and to stage earned media events (such as traffic safety checkpoints, child safety seat checks, DUI checkpoints, saturation patrols, and/or a ride-along with a law enforcement officer).  The enforcement effort is expected to reach 80% of the State’s population.  Whatever enforcement tactics are used, keeping traffic enforcement visibly present for the entire enforcement period is a central component of CIOT.


Evaluation CIOT Mobilization

CIOT programs are evaluated in a number of ways: observed safety belt use and motorists’ attitudes and knowledge of police activity are tracked through driver observational safety belt survey and telephone surveys.  Data is collected week-by-week; before, and just after the conclusion of the enforcement and media activities.


Frequently Asked Questions FL Seat Belt Use Report 2016 Car Seat Recalls 
Florida Highway Patrol  FL Seat Belt Use Report 2015 Child Restraint Law 
NHTSA Child Safety  FL Seat Belt Use Report 2014 Child Product Recalls 
Certified Child Seat Technicians   FL Seat Belt Use Report 2013 NHTSA Seat Belt Use in 2012 
SAFE KIDS  Car Seat Ratings  Florida Seat Belt Law 

For more information contact Leilani Gruener @ (850) 414-4048