Effect of free distribution of safety equipment on usage among motorcycle-taxi drivers in Tanzania - A cluster randomised controlled trial
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Introduction: Deaths due to road traffic injuries, particularly motorcycle crashes, have increased rapidly in many African nations and context-specific strategies to improve preventative behaviours are needed. Although adhering to conspicuity measures by wearing reflective safety vests is a highly effective crash prevention strategy and mandated by law among motorcycletaxi drivers in some African countries, actual use is currently low. We aimed to test whether eliminating cost-barriers through the provision of free reflective, fluorescent motorcycle safety vests would lead to increased utilisation among a high-risk population of motorcycletaxi drivers in Tanzania.Methods: A cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted among 180 motorcycletaxi drivers. Participants randomised to the intervention arm (90) received free, reflective, fluorescent vests; participants randomised to the control arm (90) did not receive free vests. Participants use of reflective vests was then observed on city streets over a three month period and differential uptake was estimated using mixed-effects logistic regression.Results: Baseline use of reflective vests was 3.3% in both arms. Seventy-nine drivers in the intervention arm and 82 drivers in the control arm were observed during follow-up. The average proportion of observations during which motorcycle drivers were using a reflective vest was 9.5% in the intervention arm, compared to 2.0% in the control arm (odds ratio: 5.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.126.9, p-value: 0.04).Conclusion: Although distribution of free reflective vests led to a statistically significant increase in vest usage, the absolute increase was modest. Additional strategies beyond removing economic barriers are important to augment adherence to road safety behaviours for injury prevention.
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