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NEARLY HALF OF COLUMBUS-AREA RESIDENTS SAY THEY ALWAYS WEAR THEIR SAFETY BELTS

 NEARLY HALF OF COLUMBUS-AREA RESIDENTS SAY
 THEY ALWAYS WEAR THEIR SAFETY BELTS
 COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Forty-nine percent of Columbus-area residents say they "always" wear their safety belts, which places Columbus below the national average for buckling up, according to a recent national public-opinion survey which over-sampled 10 cities. The survey was commissioned by the domestic automobile industry through its automotive-safety organization, Traffic Safety Now, Inc.
 The survey, conducted for Traffic Safety Now in March by Research Data Analysis, Inc., a leading research firm in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., polled 250 Columbus-area residents. The margin of error was plus-minus 5 percent.
 In addition to Columbus, the other cities were Denver, Detroit, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Dallas, St. Louis, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa, Fla.
 San Diego led all cities surveyed with a safety-belt-use rate of 76 percent. Columbus was well below the national average of 64 percent in terms of people who say they "always" wear their safety belts.
 "We hope this survey helps Columbus residents join the rest of the country in recognizing that safety belts save lives," said Charles L. Spilman, president of Traffic Safety Now, who is in the Columbus area today to discuss the results of the national public-opinion survey.
 Other results of the survey of Columbus-area residents show the following:
 -- 67 percent of the people interviewed said they "always" buckle up after being asked by the driver or another passenger. (The national average is 71 percent.)
 -- 41 percent of the drivers interviewed said they "always" suggest that passengers buckle up. (The national average is 52 percent.)
 -- 75 percent of Columbus-area residents favor safety-belt-use laws. (On a national basis, 85 percent favor such laws.)
 -- 91 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that "the driver of a car doesn't really need a safety belt that much." (Nationally, 94 percent disagreed with this statement.)
 -- 65 percent of the respondents disagreed with the statement that "safety-belt laws/legislation are (would be) an invasion of my privacy." (On a national basis, 72 percent disagreed with the statement.)
 -- 87 percent of the respondents disagreed with the statement that "airbags are suitable replacements for safety belts." (Nationally, 88 percent disagreed with the statement.)
 Grassroots coalitions, including the Ohio Highway Safety Coalition, were formed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by Traffic Safety Now, recruiting more than 500,000 local volunteers nationwide. Through these efforts, Traffic Safety Now has helped pass safety-belt- use laws in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Safety-belt-use laws have been credited with saving more than 18,000 lives, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
 Traffic Safety Now was formed in 1984 as a national, non-profit organization dedicated to reducing traffic injuries and fatalities by encouraging greater use of safety belts. The organization is funded by the domestic automobile industry: Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Other participants are the Automotive Occupant Restraints Council, the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the United States, Inc. and the National Automobile Dealers Association.
 -0- 6/30/92
 /CONTACT: Charles L. Spilman of Traffic Safety Now, Inc., 313-872-0796; or John Bailey of Casey Communications Management, Inc., 313-423-4600, for Traffic Safety Now, Inc./ CO: Traffic Safety Now, Inc.; Research Data Analysis, Inc. ST: Ohio, Michigan IN: AUT SU:


DH -- DE003 -- 5009 06/30/92 08:11 EDT
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Date:Jun 30, 1992
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