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Safety 2017, 3(2), 12;

Seatbelt Use as a Police Avoidance Strategy: A Test Using the Legality of Medical Marijuana

Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA
Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI 54901, USA
Lewin Group, Eden Prairie, MN 55344, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Raphael Grzebieta
Received: 15 August 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
PDF [232 KB, uploaded 23 March 2017]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: seatbelts; marijuana legality seatbelts; marijuana legality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Adams, S.; Cotti, C.; Ullman, D. Seatbelt Use as a Police Avoidance Strategy: A Test Using the Legality of Medical Marijuana. Safety 2017, 3, 12.

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