Evaluation of the 2010 child restraint legislation in Queensland

Lennon, Alexia J., Darvell, Millie, Edmonston, Colin J., Biggs, Sarah E., & Shaw, Lauren (2011) Evaluation of the 2010 child restraint legislation in Queensland.


Occupant injury comprises the largest proportion of child road crash trauma in most highly motorised countries. In Australia, road crashes are the primary cause of death for children aged 1-14 years and are among the top three causes of serious injury to this age group. For this reason considerable research attention has been focused on understanding the contributing factors and the most effective ways of improving children’s safety as car passengers. Australia has been particularly active in this area, with well regarded work being conducted on levels of use of dedicated child restraints, restraint crash performance in laboratory conditions, examination of real world restraint crash performance (case review), and studies of psychosocial factors influencing perceptions about restraints and their use (Brown & Bilston, 2006; Brown, McCaskill, Henderson & Bilston, 2006; Edwards, Anderson & Hutchinson, 2006; Lennon, 2005, 2007).

New legislation for the restraint of children as vehicle passengers was enacted in Queensland in March 2010. This new legislation recognises the importance of dedicated restraint use for children up to at least age 7 years and the protective benefits of rear seating position in the event of a crash.

As part of improving children’s safety and addressing key priority areas, the Queensland Injury Prevention Council (QIPC) and Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) commissioned the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, Queensland (CARRS-Q) to evaluate the impact of the new legislation. Although at the time of commencing the research the legislation had only been in force for 14 months, it was deemed critical to review its effectiveness in guiding parental choices and compliance in order to inform the design and focus of further supporting initiatives and interventions. Specifically, the research sought clear evidence of exactly what impact, if any, the legislation has had on compliance levels and what difficulties (if any) parents/carers experience in relation to interpreting as well as complying with the requirements of the new law. Knowledge about these barriers or difficulties will allow any future changes or improvements to the legislation to address such barriers and thus improve its effectiveness. Moreover, better information about how the legislation has affected parents will provide a basis to plan non-legislative comprehensive multi-strategy interventions such as community, educational or behavioural interventions with parents/carers and other stakeholder groups. In addition, it will allow identification of the most effective aspects of the legislation and those areas in need of extra attention to improve effectiveness/compliance and thus better protect children travelling in cars and improve their health and safety. This report presents the findings from the four components of the research: the literature review; observational study; intercept interviews and focus group with parents; and the interviews with key stakeholders.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 48812
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 (please consult the author).
Deposited On: 23 Feb 2012 23:48
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 21:38

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