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Observations of Road Safety Behaviours and Practices of Motorcycle Rickshaw Drivers in Lahore, Pakistan

Tahir, M, Haworth, N, King, M, Washington, S (Peer reviewed)

Road Safety Across Cultures

ARSC conference 2015

Motorcycle Rickshaws (MRs) are an informal paratransit mode in Pakistan. They are locally manufactured and very popular but there are concerns about their crash involvement and overall safety. The first study of the current PhD program revealed that rickshaws (both MRs and auto-rickshaws) were involved in 51,992 road crashes attended by emergency ambulances in Punjab province, Pakistan between 2011-2013. This study aims to examine the road safety behaviours and practices of Motorcycle Rickshaw Drivers (MRDs) that may be contributing to these crashes. MRDs were observed at 12 major signalised intersections in Lahore. Vehicle characteristics and driver behaviours were recorded using a paper-based survey between 9am-7pm for a full week in May 2015. Of the 500 MRDs observed, about 23.4% appeared to be younger than the minimum driver licensing age of 18 years. More than half (52.6%) of the MRDs entered on the red light and 17.4% crossed when the signal was turning from yellow to green or red. MR traffic conflicts were observed in 62.8% of cases and one crash and 15 near-miss crashes were witnessed. Additionally, about half of MRs were overloaded, no MRD wore a helmet, and 3.8% were using a mobile phone while driving. This study provides the first scientific evidence to substantiate public concerns regarding the safety of MRs. It demonstrates that about a quarter of MRDs are underage, almost half of MRs are overloaded and more than half disobey traffic signals. This research could inform authorities to manage MR related transport and road safety issues._x000D_