Road safety awareness and practices among school children of chandigarh


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Road Safety Awareness and Practices Among School Children of Chandigarh

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Road safety awareness and practices among school children of chandigarh

  1. 1. Indian Journal of Community Medicine Vol. 31, No. 3, July - September, 2006 Road Safety Awareness and Practices Among School Children of Chandigarh H.M. Swami, S. Puri, V. BhatiaIntroduction 60) and those not having any vehicles (12.8%,125). HenceIt has been estimated that 1 million deaths & 15 million RSA the sample comprised of 787 students (479 males & 308(Road Side Accidents) occur on roads worldwide every year. females) studying in these classes. Information regardingGlobally, RSA is 10th & in SEAR, 7th leading cause of death in knowledge about accidents, use of vehicles, traffic safety,all age groups1. According to WHO estimates, RSA is the 9th various risk factors and their practices was recorded onleading cause of death as per on the basis of DALY. However, predesigned format.this is likely to reach at no. 3 by 20202. It was estimated that Information was collected by trained team of doctors & socialover 75% of RSA occur in the so called developing countries, workers in school premises after taking consent from theeven though these countries account for only 32% of total Principals and students.motor vehicle fleet, which involves 65% of pedestrians and Results and Discussion35% of school children3. Child pedestrian injury, an importantcause of morbidity and mortality remains one of the leading Forty percent of students lacked correct knowledge of trafficcauses of death in developed and developing countries. Each safety rules. In particular, knowledge of correct speed limityear in US approximately 850 children under the age of 15 was lacking in 67.3% of the respondents. Girls were moreyears are killed & another 30,000 are injured in pedestrian aware of traffic rules to be followed at traffic lights (63%) andcollisions4. During last decades injuries due to RSA have while crossing zebra lines (41.2%), Whereas boys were morerisen by 300% in Asian and African countries in contrast to versed with rules for pedestrians (49.8%). Around 60% of30-40% in developed countries. There is limited literature school children had correct knowledge of risk factors. Theavailable regarding accident related behaviour in developing awareness was almost same in both government & privatecountries. The chances of RSA can be averted to a large ex- Schools as well as in males & female students. (Table-I)tent, if school children who are going to be adults of tomorrow Table I: Knowledge of School Children Regarding Traffic Safetyare made aware of road safety measures. Hence present Male Female Totalstudy was focussed on school children to study knowledge Correct Knowledge of (n=479) (n=308) (n=787)of various risk factors pertaining to road side accidents and Traffic Safety Rules No. % No. % No. %their practices. Rule to be followed at 267 55.7 197 63.0 464 59.0 traffic lightsMaterial and Methods Crossing zebra lines 181 37.7 127 41.2 308 39.5 Rule for pedestrians 239 49.8 81 26.2 320 40.6The Union Territory of Chandigarh is one of the modern cities Legal age at driving:in India with an area of 114 sq. Km with population of about 1 Without gears 259 54.0 144 46.7 403 51.2million and a high literacy rate of 81.6%. City is well known for With gears 272 56.7 146 47.0 418 53.1modern architecture, medical and educational infrastructure. Speed limits in city: Main road 191 39.8 67 21.7 258 32.7Large number of young people come to the city for pursuing Is It a Risk:education from neighboring and far states such as North Driving without Helmet 283 59.1 218 70.8 491 62.4Eastern State. UT of Chandigarh has about 185 schools in Driving at night without 285 59.4 183 59.4 468 59.5Govt. & Private sector. More than 100 schools are up to level headlight Not wearing seatbelts in 284 59.3 181 58.8 465 59.1 of high and secondary level, having about 30000 children carenrolled in classes between 9th –12th. Table II - Traffic Rule Violations By School ChildrenIn this study, 8 schools (4 Govt. & 4 Private) were chosenrandomly. Total number of students studying in these classes Caught for Male Female Total Violating Traffic (n=479) (n=308) (n=787) were approximately 5000. 4 classes from each school were Rules No. % No. % No. %covered. Systemic random sampling method was used. Without Helmet 108 22.5 42 13.6 450 57.1Every 2nd child was enrolled for the study. Hence on an Without valid 60 12.5 40 13.0 100 l2.7average 90-100 students were taken from each school. The document total number of students who were covered were 972. Of Without license 124 26.0 57 18.5 171 21.7 Using mobile 115 24.0 58 18.$ 173 22.0the total students, those who were excluded from the study while drivingwere those who didn’t give complete information (6.1%, Over Speeding 200 41.8 28 9.09 228 29.0 Crossing wrong 171 35.7 52 16.9 222 28.2 signalDeptt. of Community Medicine, GMCH, Chandigarh Drunk with 65 13.5 - - 65 8.3Received : 12.10.04 Alcohol Road Safetiy Awareness and Practices Among Children 199
  2. 2. Indian Journal of Community Medicine Vol. 31, No. 3, July - September, 2006Results of this study were similar to that done in other coun- of motorised and unmotorised vehicles, inadequate vehicletries. In a study done in Bangladesh5, 62% of road traffic safety standards, neglect of bicyclists safety, absence ofaccidents were accounted by pedestrian casualties. 62% of safety measures like helmets, seat belts, the rage of drinkingstudents agreed that risk factors that expose one to accidents & driving, & least adherence to traffic rules. These reasonsare driving without helmet, driving at night without headlights were witnessed in our study also.(59.5%) & not wearing seatbelts (59.1%). Death of any school child in a road traffic accident whileBicycle, motorcycle/scooter & car were being driven mostly driving a vehicle is a serious issue. But this is certainly pre-by 62%(488), 18.5% (146) & 1.7%(14) of school children ventable. Basically four stakeholders are involved - parents,respectively. Use of motorcycle/scooter (23.7%) and car students, teachers and traffic police. Parents should not let(2.5%) was higher in private schools as compared to govern- their children drive at an early age. Students should refrainment schools (11.1 % & 0.6% respectively). Some, 13.3% of themselves from traffic rule violations. School teacherschildren started driving under the age of 10 years & females should inculcate traffi safety among students and enforce(17.9%) outnumbering males (10.4%) at this age. However, traffic rules within school premises. Law enforcement agen-57.3% of the students started driving after 12 yrs of age. cies like traffic police, license issuing authorities must also beDriving at such a young age, hence putting their lives and stringent. Young traffic violators and their guardians shouldalso others life in danger, is ofcourse the result of laxity on be appropriately punished. They should also ensure that thethe part of parents. community is aware of road safety signs which will help inMore than half (57.1%) of students informed that they were reducing existing high accident rate, prevalent in developingcaught for not wearing helmets, & equal number of males countries as India.& females (12.7%) for not having valid documents. Around Referencesone fourth (26%) of males were caught without license ascompared to 18.5% girls This practice was more in private 1. Global Road Safety Partnership 2000, GRSP News & Bro-school children. Students who were in habit of using mobile chure (Ist Edition), Geneva, Jan-2000phones while driving were 22%, over speeding was done by29% & 8.3% of them consumed alcohol while drinking. Male 2. Murray CJL & Lopez AD. The global burden of diseases-Astudents were doing more traffic rule violations as compared correspondence assessment of mortality & disability fromto girls (Table - II). Half ( 52.4%) of subjects agreed that diseases, Injuries & risk factors in 1990 & projected to 2020, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 1996.girls should wear helmets; 77.7% of them agreed that boyskeep helmets on their arms to impress girls, 25.7% did not 3. Hoque M.M, Mac D M & Hall R D. Road Safety Improvement Inlike wearing them & 4.95% gave some medical reasons for Developing Countries: Priority Issues & Options, Proceedingsnot wearing. of 20th Australian Road Research Board Conference 2004.Several reports from developed countries show that rates 4. Alison M & Ian R. Children Exposure to Traffic & Pedestrianof fatal & non fatal injuries from motor vehicle crashes is on Injuries: American J Of Public Health 1998; 12:88-92the increase owing to non usage of helmets and seat belts.Daniel observed in his study that the relative risk of death 5. Didarul A M & Mazharuloque M. Pedestrian Accident in Met-among helmet riders as compared to unhelmeted riders was ropolitan Dhaka, Presented in “SAFE”, 2nd Asian Regional0.616. Hence many interventions were done & evaluated. Conference on safe communities in Bangladesh 2004.Evaluation of interventions is an important aspect of injuryprevention like bicycle helmet use increased following dem- 6 Daniel C. N & Peter C. Association of Helmet use with deathonstration of the impact of helmets on brain injury7. in Motorcycle crashes-A matched pair cohort study: American J of Epidemiology 2002;156:483-87Involvement of motorised 2 wheelers, bicyclists in RSA isgreater in South East Asia than any other part of world. Some 7. Lynda D & Sue B. Evaluation of Interventions designed to preventof the major reasons are driving at an early age, heavy mix and Control Injuries Epidemiologic Reviews 2003;25:51-59 Road Safety Awareness and Practices Among School Children 200