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Motorcycle taxi programme increases safe riding behaviours among its drivers in Kampala, Uganda
  1. Kennedy Muni1,
  2. Olive Kobusingye2,
  3. Charles Mock1,3,4,
  4. James P Hughes5,
  5. Philip M Hurvitz6,
  6. Brandon Guthrie1,3
  1. 1 Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  2. 2 Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  3. 3 Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  4. 4 Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  5. 5 Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  6. 6 Department of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Mr Kennedy Muni, Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA; maring.muni{at}


Background SafeBoda is a motorcycle taxi company that provides road safety training and helmets to its drivers in Kampala, Uganda. We sought to determine whether SafeBoda drivers are more likely to engage in safe riding behaviours than regular drivers (motorcycle taxi drivers not part of SafeBoda).

Methods We measured riding behaviours in SafeBoda and regular drivers through: (1) computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI), where 400 drivers were asked about their riding behaviours (eg, helmet and mobile phone use) and (2) roadside observation, where riding behaviours were observed in 3000 boda-boda drivers and their passengers along major roads in Kampala.

Results Across the two cross-sectional studies, a higher proportion of SafeBoda drivers than regular drivers engaged in safe riding behaviours. For instance, helmet use among SafeBoda compared with regular drivers was 21% points higher (95% CI 0.15 to 0.27; p<0.001) based on the CAPI and 45% points higher (95% CI 0.43 to 0.47; p<0.001) based on roadside observation. Furthermore, compared with regular drivers, SafeBoda drivers were more likely to report having a driver’s license (66.3% vs 33.5 %; p<0.001) and a reflective jacket (99.5% vs 50.5 %; p<0.001) and were less likely to report driving towards oncoming traffic (4% vs 45.7 %; p<0.001) in the past 30 days.

Conclusion The SafeBoda programme is associated with increased safe riding behaviours among motorcycle taxi drivers in Kampala. Therefore, the promotion and expansion of such programmes may lead to a reduction in morbidity and mortality due to road injuries.

  • helmet
  • training
  • motorcycle
  • cross-sectional study
  • driver

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  • Contributors All authors conceived the question and study design. KM and OK were involved with data collection. KM, BG and JPH conducted statistical analysis. All authors were involved with writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript for publication.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health under Grant (#R25 TW009345).

  • Disclaimer The content of this publication is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by University of Washington IRB, Makerere University School of Public Health IRB and Uganda National Council for Science and Technology.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author, KM, on reasonable request.