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J Safety Res. 2004;35(2):189-96.

Effectiveness of primary enforcement safety belt laws and enhanced enforcement of safety belt laws: a summary of the Guide to Community Preventive Services systematic reviews.

Author information

1
Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, Mailstop K-63, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA. rshults@cdc.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The use of safety belts is the single most effective means of reducing fatal and nonfatal injuries in motor-vehicle crashes. This paper summarizes the systematic reviews of two interventions to increase safety belt use: primary enforcement safety belt laws and enhanced enforcement of safety belt laws. The reviews were previously published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

METHODS:

We conducted the systematic reviews using the methodology developed for the Guide to Community Preventive Services.

RESULTS:

These reviews provide strong evidence that primary laws are more effective than secondary laws in increasing safety belt use and decreasing fatalities and that enhanced enforcement is effective in increasing safety belt use. Increases in belt use are generally highest in states with low baseline rates of belt use.

DISCUSSION:

Primary safety belt laws and enhanced enforcement programs tend to result in greater increases in usage rates for target groups with lower baseline rates. Concerns regarding public opposition to these interventions may impede their implementation in some jurisdictions. However, surveys indicate that a substantial majority of the public supports implementation of both primary laws and enhanced enforcement programs.

CONCLUSION:

Based on the strong evidence for effectiveness of primary safety belt laws and enhanced enforcement programs, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommended that all states enact primary safety belt laws and that communities implement enhanced enforcement programs.

PMID:
15178238
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsr.2004.03.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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