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Factors Associated with the Enactment of Safety Belt and Motorcycle Helmet Laws

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Address correspondence to Teik Hua Law, Road Safety Research Center, Department of Civil Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor 43400, Malaysia; tel: +6-03-89464408; fax: +6-03-86567129; lawteik@eng.upm.edu.my.

Abstract

It has been shown that road safety laws, such as motorcycle helmet and safety belt laws, have a significant effect in reducing road fatalities. Although an expanding body of literature has documented the effects of these laws on road safety, it remains unclear which factors influence the likelihood that these laws are enacted. This study attempts to identify the factors that influence the decision to enact safety belt and motorcycle helmet laws. Using panel data from 31 countries between 1963 and 2002, our results reveal that increased democracy, education level, per capita income, political stability, and more equitable income distribution within a country are associated with the enactment of road safety laws.

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