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Sustainability of the effects of Abu Dhabi seat belt intervention on seat belt use in the United Arab Emirates
  1. Y Al Hosani*,
  2. M Stevenson,
  3. M El Sadig,
  4. S Sue
  1. Correspondence UAE Armded Forces Medical Services Corps, Directorate of Public Health and Medical Affairs, PO Box 6723, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abstract

Although seat belt legislation was implemented in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1999, the prevalence of seat belt use did not exceed 15% postimplementation (El-Sadig et al, 2002).

Based on this low prevalence rate, an intervention consisted of social marketing and enhance traffic enforcement strategies were implemented in Abu Dhabi over 4 months period.

The prevalence of seat belt use among drivers and passengers increased from 35% to 45% and from 26% to 33%, respectively (pre- to immediately postintervention).

There prevalence among local drivers increased from 5.6% pre to 10% immediately postintervention and for non-local drivers from 54% to 66%. The overall prevalence rate among local passengers remained at 7% compared to non-local passengers which increased from 37% pre- to 50% immediately postintervention.

At 6 months postintervention, the percentage of all drivers and passengers using seat were 48% and 41.8%, respectively. There was a further 3% increase in the prevalence of seat belt use among local drivers compared to relatively unchanged rate (67%) for non-local drivers.

On the other hand, the prevalence of seat belt use increased from 7% to 11% among local passengers compared to a further 8% increase among non-local passengers.

The finding from this study is consistent with findings from other studies where similar interventions have been implemented (Shults et al, 2004; Stevenson et al, 2008) which demonstrates that successful road safety interventions undertaken in high income countries can effectively be implemented in the UAE.

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