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Case Study: Sakhalin Seatbelt Campaign
- Sakhalin Island, Russia

A four year belt seatbelt campaign (and enforcement initiative) on Sakhalin Island, Russia has shown significant compliance improvements. The seatbelt wearing rate has increased from a low of around 3-4% in 2005 to a compliance rate of around 80% in 2008.

The task was completed as collaborated publicity/enforcement effort between the Sakhalin Road Safety Partnership and the Road Traffic Police. This was one of the first seat-belt campaigns of its time in the region.

The objectives of the seatbelt campaign were to increase awareness, attitude improvements and social encouragement of seatbelt usage. Some specific campaign aims were as follows

  • Increase awareness amongst the target audience about the risks of harming loved ones or themselves in case of non-use of seat belts.
  • Significantly increase the proportion of the target audience that wears seat belts.

The campaign was rolled out in four phases, identifying the groups who were still not complying with seatbelt use during the end of each phase and targeting these groups in the next campaign. For example, the first three phases targeted all drivers and passengers; however, the most seat-belt restive group (men aged between 18 and 35) targeted during phase four.

The campaign used a number of different media outlets to reach their audience, as follows

  • television
  • radio
  • billboards
  • cross-street banners
  • internet
  • other popular mass media.

Video sampling was used to measure the success of the campaign. Furthermore, video footage allowed identification of the most resistant driving groups (i.e. 18 to 35 year age group as per phase four) for inclusion/focus in the next campaign.

The cost to date of the project has been in the order of $375,000 dollars plus hundreds of Police hours. Combined with consistent campaign renewal and repetition (including continued enforcement) the campaign is expected to remain within the public consciousness.