Seatbelt Wearing Rates
DRIVERS AND PASSENGERS FRONT AND BACK SEATS INDIVIDUALLY, NOT WEARING SEATBELTS WHILE DRIVING, ALSO INVDIVIDUALLY FOR URBAN AND RURAL ROADS AND STREETS.
The information reported in this table was obtained from the road blocks when vehicles were stopped for inspection. The driver wearing rate reported is exceptionally high. It is suspected that the wearing rate for drives is so high, because drivers had the opportunity to put on their seat belts while approaching the road blocks, or while waiting for the vehicle to be inspected. (During the road blocks there was normally a short waiting time before the surveyor started with the inspection of the vehicle.) It was therefore decided to verify the information thus obtained by doing an invisible survey of drivers wearing rates (i.e. where vehicles were not stopped, with the surveyor remaining unobserved). This survey started only later during the programme, with the result that two of the provinces (North West and Mpumalanga) could not be covered by this invisible survey.
The results were as follows:
This table did not confirm the consistently low non-wearing rate which was found in the road block survey. The driver wearing rates during invisible surveys ranged from 40% (Eastern Cape, rural) to 80% (Limpopo, urban). No consistent pattern seems to exist. Although some high wearing rates have been recorded, it is clear that the seat belt situation has not been stabilised and is still far from ideal. Communication and law enforcement programmes have to continue emphasising the issue of seat belt wearing.
DETAIL ON SEATBELT WEARING RATES IN SOUTH AFRICA
Calculated X2 for the observed data series is 85; critical X2 value for df = 6 is 13. This indicates of a highly significant difference.
An important feature of the information is the highly significant difference between urban and rural wearing rates4, with urban rates much lower than rural rates. Another interesting phenomenon is that the CBD wearing rates will often be very low, while wearing rates on urban access roads to high speed freeways will often be very high. The apparent explanation of these phenomena is that road users seem to believe that the seat belt is not really necessary at relatively lower speeds - the impact of crashes at lower speeds (40 - 60km/h) seems to be underestimated by road users. This misconception should specifically be addressed in communication programmes.
[Information kindly provided by the Arrive Alive National Fatal Accident Information Centre,National Department of Transport]