THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 23, 1997
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
SUBJECT: Increasing Seatbelt Use Nationwide
We have made steady progress in improving highway safety over the years. However, there are still far too many tragic and unnecessary deaths and injuries on the Nation's roads. As a first line of defense, we must all wear seatbelts. Seatbelts protect passengers not only in frontal crashes, but also in side, rear, and rollover crashes, saving about 10,000 lives a year. I understand that about 70 percent of the population use seatbelts. Increasing seatbelt use will clearly save more lives and reduce injuries.
I hereby direct you, working with the Congress, the States, and other concerned Americans, including the automobile and insurance industries, and safety and consumer groups, to report back to me in 45 days with a plan to increase the use of seatbelts nationwide. The plan shall address, among other things, the State laws that require the use of seatbelts, assistance from the Department of Transportation to improve those State laws, and a comprehensive education campaign on behalf of the public and private sector to help the public understand the need to wear seatbelts.
You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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