Child car restraints : mandating type and seating row according to age with positive effect in regional city in Queensland, Australia

Johns, Melissa, Lennon, Alexia J., & Haworth, Narelle L. (2012) Child car restraints : mandating type and seating row according to age with positive effect in regional city in Queensland, Australia. Transportation Research Record : Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2281, pp. 51-58.

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Road trauma is a leading cause of child injury worldwide. In highly motorised countries, injury as a passenger represents a major proportion of all child road deaths and hospitalisations. Australia is no exception, particularly since there are high levels of private motor vehicle travel to school in most Australian states. Recently the legislation governing the type of car restraints required for children aged under 7 years has changed in Australia, aligning requirements better with accepted best practice. However, it is unclear what effect these changes have had on children’s seating positions or the types of restraints used. A mixed methods evaluation of the impact of the new legislation on compliance was conducted at three times: baseline (Time 1); after announcement that changes were going to be implemented but before enforcement began (Time 2); and after enforcement commenced (Time 3). Measures of compliance were obtained using two methods: road-side observations of vehicles with child passengers; and parental self-report (intercept interviews conducted at Time 2 and Time 3 only). Results from the observations suggested an overall positive effect. Proportions of children occupying front seats decreased overall and use of dedicated child seats increased to almost 40% of the observed children by Time 3. However, almost a quarter of the children observed still occupied front seats. These results differed from those of the interview study where almost no children were reported as usually travelling in the front seat, and reported use of dedicated restraints with children was almost 90%, over twice that of the observations.

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ID Code: 56087
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Child safety, transportation, occupant safety, child restraints
DOI: 10.3141/2281-07
ISSN: 0361-1981
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
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
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Transportation Research Board (US)
Deposited On: 04 Jan 2013 01:43
Last Modified: 28 May 2015 11:51

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