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  1. J Yang1,
  2. W Du2,3,
  3. B Powis4,
  4. Y Hu5,
  5. M Wu1
  1. 1Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, China
  2. 2University of New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Peking University, China
  4. 4WHO China Office
  5. 5Suzhou municipal Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, China


    Background There are 120 million electric bikes (E-bike) registered in China by 2011, however, E-bikers' riding practices are poorly characterised and few direct observational studies have been performed.

    Objectives This study aims to describe on road riding practices among E-bikers and to investigate factors influencing these practices.

    Methods A cross-sectional observational study was conducted at 14 randomly selected intersections in Suzhou during a 7-day period in March 2012. A pro-forma observation checklist was used to collect data related to on road riding practice. Adjusted OR and 95% CI to assess the likelihood of specific riding practices among some E-bikers compared with the others were evaluated using multilevel logistic regression.

    Results Among 18 048 E-bikers observed, 35.9% rode E-bikes with cycling pedals and 85.7% E-bikes were registered. The overall prevalence of carrying passengers, riding on motor vehicle lanes, running red lights, riding in opposite ways, mobile phone use, and helmet use were 13.0% (95% CI 11.9 to 14.1%), 1.8% (95% CI 1.4 to 2.2%), 10.2% (95% CI 9.2 to 11.1%), 6.2% (95% CI 5.5 to 7.0%), 0.4% (95% CI 0.2 to 10.5%), 10.1% (95% CI 9.1 to 11.0%) respectively. Male gender was associated with increased helmet use (OR=1.6, 95% CI 1.2 to 2.0) and riding on motor vehicle lanes (OR=3.5, 95% CI 1.7 to 7.1); whereas riding a registered E-bikes reduced the likelihood of carrying passengers (OR=0.3, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.4).

    Significance This study demonstrates poor on road safety practices among E-bikers in China and relates these to driver restraint use. These findings support the need for sustainable safety programmes integrating road design and behaviour interventions to make roads safer for E-bikers in China.

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