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The Governor's Council on Impaired & Dangerous Driving has adopted a strengthened approach to raise seat belt and child restraint usage in Indiana.
Indiana has had a statewide program, “Operation Pull Over” or “OPO”, focusing on increasing seat belt usage and decreasing the number of alcohol related crashes since 1994. With this in mind,the Council chose to identify the specific areas of the state where the most impact could be made with a dedicated, concentrated seat belt enforcement effort. This effort would be in addition to the already existing OPO program. The effort included coordinating an aggressive public information and education initiative and training coupled. Law enforcement took a zero tolerance approach with enforcement toward unbelted drivers and front seat occupants and children. The program entitled "Big City/Big County" (BCC) was launched during May of 2000.
97 local Police and Sheriff’s Departments representing the 30 most populated counties are provided with funding to conduct seat belt and other traffic enforcement activities in their communities. The departments work OPO program blitzes and continue with sustained, year-long enforcement.
The primary focus of BCC is increasing seat belt and child restraint usage. During the implementation phase, results were very positive. Mandatory quarterly meetings have proven to be a tremendous information exchange of strategies as well and have challenged each department to "raise the bar" of enforcement in their department. Each department reports on accomplishments, concerns, and public information and education activities to their group of peers during the meeting. This type of format has been significant to both the participating law enforcement departments as well as the staff of the Governor's Council. Participants taking the information back to their home departments and replicating other departmental approaches indicate this significance.
Counties with Participating BCC Agencies