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Assessing the effectiveness of Montana's vehicle occupant protection program.
  • Published Date:
    2015-02-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-2.23 MB]


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  • Abstract:
    The purpose of this project was to quantitatively evaluate the relationships between MDT's occupant protection program

    activities and seat restraint usage throughout Montana, in an effort to clarify how MDT's occupant protection programs may

    affect seat restraint use. Quantitative evaluations of program effectiveness are critical to optimizing program impacts, yet

    performing evaluations of these programs is challenging. Here, a cross-disciplinary research team worked in collaboration

    with Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) to produce a quantitative evaluation of four programs (Office of Public

    Instruction driver education programs, Selective Traffic Enforcement Programs, Buckle Up Montana coalitions, and media

    campaigns) aimed at improving seat belt use rates in the state of Montana. Program impacts were measured using National

    Occupant Protection Survey data from 2010 to 2012. The evaluation suggested that MDT’s programs largely operate

    independently of one another. Buckle Up Montana program presence was associated with increased seat restraint use rates,

    and this was especially true in areas that were not in large media catchment areas. Selective traffic enforcement programs

    showed a strong relationship with increased seat restraint use, but this relationship disappeared in models that included all

    programs. Driver education program completion rates were not associated with increased seat belt use. There was no

    saturating effect of program impacts, except for media campaigns, where additional dollars lead to improved occupant

    protection rates only to a point. Detecting program-specific effects was challenging using the NOPUS data, and the team

    suggested additional data collection for isolating particular program effects in the future.

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