Effect of motorcycle rider education on changes in risk behaviours and motorcycle-related injuries in rural Thailand

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A community-based programme for motorcycle rider education was provided for motorcyclists in all villages of 3 randomly selected subdistricts in Mae Sot District, Tak Province, northern Thailand, between January and March 1995. To determine the extent of changes in risk-taking behaviours, we conducted an interview survey of motorcyclists in 3 villages selected by systematic sampling from the 3 intervention subdistricts and in 3 control (without intervention) villages for comparison in March 1997, 2 years after the programme. Motorcyclists in the intervention villages (69.7%) were significantly more likely to have valid licences than those in the control villages (46.5%). The proportion of motorcyclists who always or often wore helmets was significantly greater in the intervention sample (46.0%) than in the control sample (20.5%). In 1994, the annual incidence rate of motorcycle-related injuries was slightly higher in the intervention areas than in the control areas. Following the education programme, the injury rates for 1995 and 1996 were significantly lower in the intervention than in the control population. The annual number and rate of fatal motorcycle injuries decreased after the intervention although there was no significant difference between the two populations. Motorcycle rider education may be a promising intervention for prevention of motorcyclerelated injuries in rural areas where road safety measures, particularly enforcement activities, are commonly limited.

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