Effectiveness of child restraints and booster legislation in Israel

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Abstract

Introduction

96 countries in the world have enacted child restraints and booster legislation (CRBL). Yet, findings regarding the effectiveness of CRBLs are mixed. The current study is the first to examine the association between Israel’s CRBL, implemented in November 2004, and the traffic injury and fatality rates among children aged 0–9 years. We extend on previous studies by accounting for risk exposure and by comparing populations of children affected by the legislation to those who were not.

Methods

We used an interrupted time series design of kilometre driven-based traffic injury rates for children aged 0–4 years and children aged 5–9 years using childred aged 10–14 years as a comparison group. We estimated the effects of Israel’s CRBL using monthly injury and fatality count data from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics. The sample includes all child vehicle occupants injured and killed in crashes in Israel between January 2003 and December 2011.

Results

Children aged 0–4 years experienced a 5.17% yearly reduction in traffic injury rate (incidence rate ratio (IRR): 0.94(95% CI 0.92 to 0.96); p=0.000), and the injury rate for children aged 5–9 years was associated with a 4.10% yearly reduction (IRR: 0.95(95% CI 0.93 to 0.98); p=0.001). The comprehensive CRBL implemented in Israel was associated with a 6.3% (95% CI −7.2% to5.5%; p=0.001) reduction in traffic injuries and fatalities for children aged 0–9 years.

Conclusion

This is the first study comparing traffic injury rates per kilometre driven for motor vehicle-occupant children before and after the implementation of the CRBL in Israel.

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