Background Road traffic accidents have increased significantly in Albania since the early 1990s, when the transition to the market economy took place. Schoolchildren are continuously exposed to an extremely high risk of road traffic accidents.
Aim The aim of the study was to perform a baseline assessment of road safety in areas around primary and secondary schools in Shkodra, a north city of Albania.
Methods The study was conducted in Shkodra district with the main focus on four schools from urban, informal and rural areas. A qualitative survey included focus groups with schoolchildren.
Results Overall, there were conducted four focus groups (54 schoolchildren) from 7 to 15 years old. We found that the level of road safety elements near the targeted school areas was quite poor and the schoolchildren faced huge problems and difficulties during their way for school. There is a lack of road signals and traffic lights. The most of the schoolchildren felt unsure in their way for school, especially they from urban areas. During the cycling, their level of helmet use was very low. Another important concern reported from schoolchildren was the lack of the sidewalks, increasing the risk for a road accident.
Conclusion Our study concluded that there is an urgent need for increasing the road safety elements across Shkodra roads. Immediate actions should be undertaken by local authorities, schools and community for improving the situation.
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