Effects of changes to child car restraint legislation in Australia on seating position and restraint use

Johns, Melissa, Lennon, Alexia J., & Haworth, Narelle L. (2012) Effects of changes to child car restraint legislation in Australia on seating position and restraint use. In Proceedings of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 91st Annual Meeting, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C..

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Abstract

Road trauma is a leading cause of child injury worldwide and 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 motorised transport to school is at high levels in most Australian states. Recently the legislation governing the type of car restraints required for children aged under 7 years has changed in most Australian states 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 seas increased to almost 40% of the observed children by Time 3. However, almost a quarter of the children observed were still occupying the front seat. These results were very different from those of the interview study where almost no children were reported as usually travelling in the front seat, and the reported use of dedicated restraints with children was almost 90%, more than twice that in the observations.

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ID Code: 59268
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
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
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 please consult the author
Deposited On: 29 Apr 2013 23:52
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2017 09:43

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