Safety-restraint use rate as function of law enforcement and other factors : preliminary analysis
White, David J. & Washington, Simon P. (2001) Safety-restraint use rate as function of law enforcement and other factors : preliminary analysis. Transportation Research Record : Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1779, pp. 109-115.
Persistent use of safety restraints prevents deaths and reduces the severity and number of injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes. However, safety-restraint use rates in the United States have been below those of other nations with safety-restraint enforcement laws. With a better understanding of the relationship between safety-restraint law enforcement and safety-restraint use, programs can be implemented to decrease the number of deaths and injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes. Does safety-restraint use increase as enforcement increases? Do motorists increase their safety-restraint use in response to the general presence of law enforcement or to targeted law enforcement efforts? Does a relationship between enforcement and restraint use exist at the countywide level? A logistic regression model was estimated by using county-level safety-restraint use data and traffic citation statistics collected in 13 counties within the state of Florida in 1997. The model results suggest that safety-restraint use is positively correlated with enforcement intensity, is negatively correlated with safety-restraint enforcement coverage (in lanemiles of enforcement coverage), and is greater in urban than rural areas. The quantification of these relationships may assist Florida and other law enforcement agencies in raising safety-restraint use rates by allocating limited funds more efficiently either by allocating additional time for enforcement activities of the existing force or by increasing enforcement staff. In addition, the research supports a commonsense notion that enforcement activities do result in behavioral response.
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