Restraint use law enforcement intervention in latino communities

Judy Schaechter, Susan B. Uhlhorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. Latinos aged 1 to 35 years. Restraint use is an effective means of prevention of motor vehicle crash injury. Effective interventions to raise restraint use include the following: legislation, law enforcement, education, and equipment distribution. The effects of law enforcement interventions in Latino immigrant communities are understudied. We measured the community-level effect of a combined intervention that included warnings and citations phase enforcement in Latino communities. Methods: We designed and implemented in two of three Latino-majority communities a multicomponent intervention consisting of a community awareness campaign, restraint use education with equipment distribution, and a two-staged law enforcement intervention. Restraint use observations were conducted in all three communities at baseline, after the warnings phase and again after the citations phase of the intervention were completed. Results: The combined intervention of community awareness, education, child passenger restraint distribution, and law enforcement focused on educational traffic stops with incentives and warnings was associated with a significant increase in both driver and child passenger restraint use in one intervention community, but only driver restraint increased to a level of significance in the other intervention community; significant increase was also noted among nonintervention drivers. The citations phase of the intervention did not result in a significant increase in restraint use and was complicated by interruptions due to unlicensed drivers. Conclusion: The combined effort of community awareness, education, equipment distribution and law enforcement intervention that included incentives and warnings may be effective at increasing seat belt use in Latino communities without the need for citations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S517-S521
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


  • Child passenger safety
  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • Law enforcement
  • Prevention
  • Restraint use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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