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Experience from a multivenue program to increase the use of car restraints in Greece

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Objectives To evaluate a multivenue educational campaign aimed at increasing the use of car restraints in Greater Athens, Greece. Methods From October 1997 to June 1998, the campaign was implemented by a road safety coalition comprising 50 governmental and non-governmental organizations, while during the same period, seat belt law enforcement was not intensified. A pre-intervention survey was conducted in the summer of 1996 among the occupants of 1400 passenger cars and a post-intervention survey was carried out in the summer of 1998 (2250 cars). Both surveys followed the same protocol, focusing on the availability and use of seat belts. The data from the two surveys were modeled through multiple logistic regression. Results The odds ratio of seat belt use was significantly higher in 1998 than in 1996 (1.8 with 95% confidence interval = 1.5-2.1). Improvement was evident in highway traffic and among 25-64 year-old car occupants, but it was minimal among rear seat passengers, younger occupants, and in low-speed city and suburban traffic. There is evidence from the 1998 surveys that among front seat occupants, those travelling in larger engine capacity cars, frequently equipped with airbags, were less likely to use seat belts, whereas seat belting was more frequent among occupants of newer car models. Conclusion An education and information campaign in a Southern European country resulted in increased prevalence of seat belt use. A more intensive and sustained effort is required, however, to increase seat belt use in low-speed traffic and among rear seat occupants.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-12-01

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