- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana’s seat belt usage is at a record rate.

According to a new study commissioned by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday that the usage rate for drivers and front-seat passengers is at an all-time high of 87.8 percent. That’s nearly a 2 percentage point increase over the previous year.

LHSC Executive Director Dr. Katara Williams is celebrating the record, but says the state will relentlessly pursue the ultimate goal of 100 percent usage.

The Louisiana report, compiled by the Preusser Research Group, also shows the usage rate for African-Americans jumped from 78.9 percent to 82.6 percent and Hispanic usage rates rose from 81 percent to 91.6 percent. White drivers and passengers showed modest increases, from 88.9 percent to 89.7 percent.

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