Objective Turkey was included in the Bloomberg Philanthropies funded Global Road Safety Program (2010–14) with Ankara and Afyonkarahisar (Afyon) selected for interventions to manage speed and encourage seat-belt use. The objectives of this study are to present the monitoring and evaluation findings of seat-belt use and speed in Afyon and Ankara over the five years and to assess overall impact of the program on road traffic injury, and death rates in Turkey. Study design Quasi-experimental before after without comparison. Methods In collaboration with the Middle East Technical University, roadside observations and interviews were coupled with secondary data to monitor changes in risk factors and outcomes at the two intervention sites. Results The percentage of seat-belt use among drivers and front-seat passengers in Afyon and Ankara increased significantly between 2010 and 2014 with increased self-reported use and preceded by an increase in tickets (fines) for not using seat belts. There were uneven improvements in speed reduction. In Afyon, the average speed increased significantly from 46.3 km/h in 2012 to about 52.7 km/h in 2014 on roads where the speed limits were 50 km/h. In Ankara, the average speed remained less than 55 km/h during the program period (range: 50–54 km/h; P < 0.005) for roads where the speed limits were 50 km/h; however, the average speed on roads with speed limits of 70 km/h decreased significantly from 80.6 km/h in 2012 to 68.44 km/h in 2014 (P < 0.005). Conclusion The program contributed to increase in seat-belt use in Afyon and Ankara and by drawing political attention to the issue can contribute to improvements in road safety. We are optimistic that the visible motivation within Turkey to substantially reduce road traffic injuries will lead to increased program implementation matched with a robust evaluation program, with suitable controls.
- Low- and middle-income countries
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Road safety
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health