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Safety Belt Use Integrated Project Team (IPT) Plan

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.


Notice of availability of document.


This notice announces the availability of NHTSA's third of four high priority safety reports describing the agency's current and planned activities to address safety belt use. The report is available from the Docket Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, at or on NHTSA” Web site at​people/​iptreports.html. While the document is final, the agency is offering the public the opportunity to comment on the agency's planned safety belt use activities. The comments will be considered for future agency efforts.


Comments must be received no later than September 19, 2003.


You may submit comments identified by Safety Belt Use DOT DMS Docket Number [NHTSA-2003-14620] by any of the following methods:

  • Web site: Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-001.
  • Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to, including any personal information provided.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to at any time or to Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

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Barbara Sauers, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room 6240, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202-366-0144 or Dee Williams, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room 5208, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202-366-0498.

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Safety belt use is the single most effective strategy a person can employ to prevent deaths and injuries and reduce the costs associated with motor vehicle crashes. Despite over 30 years of efforts and the expenditure of substantial resources, safety belt use in the United States is currently 75 percent. Although safety belt use has risen dramatically and has saved more than 100,000 lives in the past twenty years (13,000 in 2002 alone), the current level of nonuse in the U.S. still results in thousands of lives lost, over 100,000 serious injuries and billions of dollars in economic losses each year. NHTSA has made finding solutions to increase safety belt use one of the agency's highest priorities. Initiatives the agency plans to pursue include:

(1) Behavioral Strategies

a. Upgrade Existing Safety Belt Laws

b. High Visibility Enforcement

c. National Communications Plan

d. Employer Policies and Regulation

e. Insurance Industry Collaboration

(2) Vehicle Strategies

a. Safety Belt Reminders, Voluntary Installation of In-Vehicle Devices and Evidence of Safety Belt Use

b. Improvements to Safety Belt Comfort and Convenience

NHTSA believes the initiatives described this report will lead to both near-term and longer-term solutions to increase safety belt use among the United States population.

In September 2002, NHTSA assembled integrated project teams (IPTs) to address four highway safety programs of special interest: safety belt use; impaired driving; vehicle compatibility; and vehicle rollover. The reports associated with vehicle compatibility and vehicle rollover were released in June 2003 and can be found on NHTSA's Web site at​people/​iptreports.html and also on DOT's docket management system (DMS) at​. Once completed, the fourth report addressing impaired driving will also be found in these locations. The docket numbers for each of the respective draft reports are as follows:

  • Safety Belt Use: NHTSA-2003-14620;
  • Impaired Driving: NHTSA-2003-14621;
  • Rollover Mitigation: NHTSA-2003-14622; and
  • Vehicle Compatibility: NHTSA-2003-14623.

Each document describes the safety problem and provides strategies the agency plans to pursue in addressing vehicle compatibility; increasing safety belt use, reducing impaired driving and mitigating rollover. Comments received will be evaluated and incorporated, as appropriate, into planned agency activities.

How Do I Prepare and Submit Comments?

Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the Docket number of this document (NHTSA-2003-14620) in your comments.

Please send two paper copies of your comments to Docket Management or submit them electronically. The mailing address is U. S. Department of Transportation Docket Management, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. If you submit your comments electronically, log onto the Docket Management System website at and click on “Help & Information” or “Help/Info” to obtain instructions.

How Can I Be Sure That My Comments Were Received?

If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of your Start Printed Page 46263comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket Management will return the postcard by mail.

How Do I Submit Confidential Business Information?

If you wish to submit any information under a claim of confidentiality, send three copies of your complete submission, including the information you claim to be confidential business information, to the Chief Counsel, NCC-110, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room 5219, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Include a cover letter supplying the information specified in our confidential business information regulation (49 CFR part 512).

In addition, send two copies from which you have deleted the claimed confidential business information to Docket Management, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.

Will the Agency Consider Late Comments?

In our response, we will consider all comments that Docket Management receives before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, we will also consider comments that Docket Management receives after that date.

Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically check the Docket for new material.

How Can I Read the Comments Submitted by Other People?

You may read the comments by visiting Docket Management in person at Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

You may also see the comments on the Internet by taking the following steps:

  • Go to the Docket Management System (DMS) Web page of the Department of Transportation (
  • On that page, click on “search.”
  • On the next page (​search/​) type in the four-digit Docket number shown at the beginning of this document (14620). Click on “search.”
  • On the next page, which contains Docket summary information for the Docket you selected, click on the desired comments. You may also download the comments.
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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30111, 30117, 30168; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 501.8.

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Rose A. McMurray,

Associate Administrator for Planning, Evaluation & Budget.

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[FR Doc. 03-19878 Filed 8-4-03; 8:45 am]