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Proclamation 5837 -- National Safety Belt Use Week, 1988

June 30, 1988

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Today, 32 States and the District of Columbia have laws requiring the use of safety belts, and all 50 States and the District of Columbia have child safety seat laws requiring the use of safety seats and belt systems. These laws were enacted because of the widespread recognition of the tremendous benefits provided by the use of these essential protective devices.

Studies of motor vehicle crashes show that front-seat occupants who do not wear safety belts are twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured as occupants who wear their belts. In 1987 alone, safety belts saved the lives of 2,450 front-seat passengers and prevented thousands of serious injuries. "Buckling up'' is clearly one of the most valuable acts we can perform for ourselves and our loved ones.

With the increase in publicity about safety belts and the enactment of safety belt use laws, belt use has been steadily increasing. But there is still a long way to go: Less than half of our citizens are using safety belts regularly. A higher percentage of children are restrained by child seats, but many of these seats are incorrectly installed. Each of us can help improve safety by wearing safety belts at all times, by encouraging others to do so, and by making sure that our children ride in safety seats that are properly installed.

In order to encourage the people of the United States to wear safety belts, to have their children use child safety seats, and to encourage safety and law enforcement agencies and other concerned organizations, individuals, and officials to promote greater use of these essential safety devices, the Congress, by H.J. Res. 485, has designated June 26 through July 2, 1988, as ``National Safety Belt Use Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 26 through July 2, 1988, as National Safety Belt Use Week. I call upon the Governors of the States, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities and to reaffirm our commitment to encouraging universal seat belt use.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:19 a.m., July 1, 1988]