A model for community safety belt projects
In 2001 in New Zealand, at least 29 people were killed whose lives could have been saved if they had used the seat belts available to them. Two were children. In New Zealand the child casualty rate remains high compared to other countries.
The wearing of safety belts is a priority area in the road safety arena for the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). The current national average for wearing rates for rear seat wearing and child restraint are substantially below New Zealand?s National Road Safety Plan targets. An increase in safety behaviour i.e. the wearing of safety belts is highly likely to benefit ACC in terms of a reduction in the number and cost of injuries.
In 1999 the Injury Prevention Division of ACC developed a Community Safety Belt programme to provide communities with a model for implementing community based safety belt projects. The programme is now active throughout the country. A recent external review of the programme showed that the programme was successful overall in increasing wearing rates.
This paper outlines the development of the ACC Community Safety Belt programme.