Seatbelt use as a police avoidance strategy: a test using the legality of medical marijuana

One way to avoid detection of law enforcement officials if you are engaging in illegal activities is to wear a seatbelt. Therefore, an unintended consequence of laws allowing people to possess marijuana for medical purposes is that seatbelt use may decline among groups whose possession of marijuana is now legal. We find a decrease in seatbelt use among middle-aged males, providing evidence that drivers use seatbelts as a means to avoid police interaction. We find no such reduction in seatbelt use among those less likely to possess medical marijuana cards. Our evidence supports the contention that drivers use seatbelts more if they fear interaction with law enforcement officials, which is consistent with evidence of heightened seatbelt use among drunk drivers. These findings are important in understanding how to best design traffic safety laws and enforce them.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01632549
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 24 2017 10:23AM