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Road safety risk factors for non-motorised vehicle users in a Chinese city: an observational study
  1. Qingfeng Li1,
  2. Sile Yu2,
  3. Ting Chen3,
  4. David M Bishai3,
  5. Abdulgafoor Bachani1,
  6. Adnan A Hyder4
  1. 1 Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2 School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  3. 3 Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  4. 4 Global Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Qingfeng Li, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; qli28{at}


Objective The objective of this study is to describe and analyse the prevalence of speeding, helmet use and red-light running among riders of non-motorised vehicles (NMVs) in Shanghai, China, with a focus on electric bikes (ebikes).

Methods Observational studies were conducted in eight randomly selected locations in Shanghai. Descriptive statistics and a Cox proportional hazard (PH) model were used in the analyses.

Findings A total of 14 828 NMVs were observed in November 2017. At the free flow sites, the average speed was 22.5 km/hour for ebikes and 13.4 km/hour for bicycles. 95.5% of ebikes run above 15 km/hour, the legal speed limit for NMVs in China and 83.8% above 20 km/hour, the maximum design speed for ebikes. Helmet wearing rate was 13.5% for ebike drivers and 9.4% for passengers. Riders of commercial ebikes were nearly three times more likely to wear a helmet than personal ebikes. 22.4% of ebikes were observed to run a red light. The Cox PH model showed that ebikes (vs bicycles), males (vs females), clear weather (vs cloudy, rainy and snowy), helmet users (vs nonusers) are associated with a higher hazard for running a red light.

Conclusion To our knowledge, this study is among the first comprehensive evaluation of road user behaviours for NMVs in China. An effective intervention package including regulating ebike production to national standards, strengthening speed enforcement and passing legislation on mandatory helmet use for ebike users may be able to help.

  • Non-motorized vehicles
  • ebikes
  • Shanghai
  • China
  • road safety

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  • Correction notice This article has been updated since it is published. The affiliation for Adnan Hyder has been revised.

  • Contributors QL devised the study and wrote the report. QL led the statistical modelling and analysis. QL, SY, TC, and AB collected, complied and prepared the data. DMB, AB and AAH helped to interpret the results and revise the report. All authors approve this submission.

  • Funding This study was funded by Bloomberg Family Foundation (

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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

  • Author note Professor Hyder was based at Johns Hopkins University at the time that the research was conducted.