Background Road traffic accidents in Albania are particularly problematic in the biggest districts, where the population has sharply increased in the past decade due to the intensive processes of internal migration. The schoolchildren remain the most vulnerable group.
Aim The aim of the study was to estimate the level of attitudes and behaviours about road safety among schoolchildren in primary and secondary schools of Shkodra district.
Methods In 2009, a cross-sectional study was conducted in four schools from urban, informal and rural areas of Shkodra district, included 102 schoolchildren (72 girls and 30 boys) from 11 to 15 years. A structured questionnaire was administrated including information about socio-demographic data, attitudes, practices, sources of information related to road safety, and employment of safety measures for road users.
Results Among 102 schoolchildren, 73% of them reported that school was the main source of information about road safety and 93% of them went to school by walk. However, only 4% and 29% of the schoolchildren reported the use of helmet and seat belt respectively. Conversely, there were no statistically significant differences in levels of attitudes and practices related to road safety with regard to schoolchildren's origin (rural vs urban areas) (p=0.32).
Conclusion Our findings indicate a high rate of risky behaviours related to road safety among schoolchildren in Shkodra. Among other measures, immediate actions should be undertaken in order to enforce current legislation about mandatory use of seat belt and bicycle helmets.
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