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Road safety risk factors for non-motorised vehicle users in a Chinese city: an observational study

Abstract

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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