Seat belt use at all-time high in Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — Seat belt usage has climbed to an all-time high in Massachusetts, but new research shows that more than one in five motorists still aren’t buckling up.

A recent observational study conducted for the state by the University of Massachusetts Traffic Safety Research Program found that 78.2 percent of drivers and front-seat passengers were properly wearing safety belts. That’s up from 74 percent a year ago.

Massachusetts has lagged behind other states when it comes to seat belt use.

In 2015, the state’s usage rate ranked 48th in the nation.

The U.S. average was 88.5 percent.

Massachusetts has a secondary seat belt law, meaning drivers can only be ticketed for not buckling up if they’re first stopped for another infraction, such as speeding.