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Motorcycle taxi programme increases safe riding behaviours among its drivers in Kampala, Uganda

Abstract

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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