Florida seat belt use at all-time high

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (By The News Service of Florida) - Seat-belt use is up to nearly 90 percent in Florida, the state Department of Transportation said Thursday.

Of 31,055 drivers and 7,426 front-seat passengers observed in June, 89.6 percent were using the safety devices, the agency reported.

The mark is the highest the state has recorded, with slightly lower percentages each year since 2009 when a law went into effect allowing police to pull over and ticket drivers and passengers for not wearing seat belts. When the law took effect, compliance was estimated at 85.2 percent.

A year ago, the mark stood at 89.4 percent. In 2000, seat-belt use was estimated at 60.1 percent.

The latest projection is based on observations of motorists taken at 165 sites in 15 counties.