Publication

Evaluation of legislation on seat belt use on rear seats

Social persuasion as a new measure to promote seat belt use

Author(s)

Oei, Ir. H.L.

Year

1995

In the Netherlands, the use of seat belts for front seat passengers was made compulsory in 1975, and on April 1st 1992 the use of rear seat belts, if fitted, became a legal requirement. Since 1968, an annual survey of the presence and use of seat belts on front seats - extended in 1989 to include rear seats - has been conducted in the Netherlands. An evaluation of compliance with the law stipulating the use of rear seat belts was conducted by comparing the observation and surveys carried out in October 1992 and 1991. A significant rise in the use of rear seat belts, when fitted, was found: from 15 to 31% in built-up areas and from 12 to 37% on rural roads. For front seat belts, a small increase was found on town roads, from 62% to 66%, while on rural roads the percentage was around 80% in both years. It was calculated that the use of front and rear seat belts has a great growth potential. It is recommended that information campaigns should promote 'social persuasion', with emphasis on the increased risk of injury sustained by a non-belted occupant and the risk of having a proportion of the damage compensation withheld by the insurance company. In addition, the non-user can inflict injury on other belted occupants, and can therefore be sued for damages either by the victims or by their insurance company. Intensive police enforcement combined with public information sustained over several weeks, followed by a period of enforcement at a lower level of intensity can lead to an increased use of seat belts through habituation

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report

Report number

D-95-27

Pages

11

Publisher

SWOV, Leidschendam