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Occupant Protection: Observed Seatbelt Use in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis (STM), Ghana

Solomon Ntow Densu
Department of Civil Engineering, Takoradi Polytechnic, Takoradi, Ghana

Abstract—Non-use of seat belt is one of the leading causes of road traffic fatalities. In Ghana, over 45% of road traffic fatalities are vehicle occupants. In order to mitigate the situation, seat belt law (Act 683, 2004) was enacted, yet very little is known about its actual prevalence. This study therefore aimed to determine seat belt use in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis (STM). Covert but unobstructed observations were conducted at 13 automated signalized intersections. Data analysis was done using SPSS. Just about 1 in 4 front-seat occupants were belted (24.8%; 95% CI=23.46-26.14). Restraint use was significantly higher among drivers 33.4% (95% CI=32.47-34.33) than front-seat passengers 10.2% (95% CI=9.43-10.97). Female drivers were approximately thrice as more likely to use seat belts than male drivers (OR= 2.8, 95% CI=2.275-3.341). Driver belt use was prevalent in private cars, in the outskirts of town, during the morning rush hour, and when passengers were belted. Likewise, passenger belt use was rife among private cars, but least in the CBD. It is patent that belt use in the STM is generally low. For effective compliance with legislation, enforcement and education strategies must be carefully planned and adequately resourced, to realize maximum benefits of belt use. 

Index Terms—seat belt law, seat belt use, driver, passenger, sekondi-takoradi metropolis, Ghana

Cite: Solomon Ntow Densu, "Occupant Protection: Observed Seatbelt Use in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis (STM), Ghana," International Journal of Structural and Civil Engineering Research, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 201-212, November 2013.