Fred Ngandu Mulenga
Abstract: This study investigated risky factors influencing bicycle accidents among Cyclists of Chipata District in Zambia. It was guided by Penders Health Promotion Model. The study utilised cross sectional descriptive design and employed both Quantitative and Qualitative methods. The sample size for quantitative data was 240 cyclists derived from a population of 500. Qualitative data arose from Focus Group Discussion involving 25 accident stake holders. Quantitative data was collected by questionnaires and was analysed using the SPSS version 17, while thematic analysis was utilised for qualitative data. The findings of quantitative data showed that bicycle accidents in Chipata District were estimated at 67.5 %. Most of the respondents (67.9 %) involved in bicycle accidents were males, falling in the age group of 18 to 24 years. Main factors associated with bicycle accidents were bicycle defects, lack of formal bicycle training, age (especially adolescents and young adults), alcohol and drug abuse as well as inadequate law enforcement. Qualitative research findings corroborated with findings noted above. Furthermore, the study brought out the lack of cycle tracks, inadequate law enforcement among cyclists by Traffic and RTSA officers as well as cyclists not using bicycle safety measures such as helmets, cycle lights and reflectors as additional factors associated with bicycle accidents. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were proposed for consideration Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to introduce compulsory use of bicycle helmets, cycle lights and reflectors for cyclists. Road Development Agency (RDA) to introduce mandatory cycle tracks for all public roads. Zambia Environmental management Agency (ZEMA) to conduct capacity building among RTSA and police officers on Environmental Education. Traffic police and RTSA officers to scale up Law Enforcement among Chipata cyclists. RTSA to conduct awareness campaigns among cyclists on causes of bicycle accidents. RTSA to introduce bicycle certifying training institutions, bicycle fitness tests, number plates and a data base for easy bicycle tracking. Police training schools to include Environmental Education in their curriculum as a complementary strategy in addressing bicycle accidents. Zambian Government to establish a unit within Zambia Police Service and RTSA to offer Environmental Education in line with the Policy on Environment and RTSA to translate the Traffic Highway Code into Local Languages such as Chewa and Ngoni.
Keywords: Bicycle accidents, Chipata District, Zambia Police, RTSA and Promotion Theory