Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Risk Perceptions among Users of Commercial Motorcycles in Cities of Southwestern Nigeria

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Risk Perceptions among Users of Commercial Motorcycles in Cities of Southwestern Nigeria

Article excerpt

Motorcycles have constituted a significant proportion of modal choice of commuters in many cities in Nigeria. Motorcycles transport possess several unique features which have lead to their general acceptance as a source of employment among the urban poor and as alternative transport solution to the problems of commuting in Nigerian cities. In recent time, the safety of motorcycle operators and their users has become a major concern of stakeholders as a result of the increase in road accidents resulting from motorcycles transportation.

This paper examines the perceptions of the risk associated with the use of motorcycles as public transport among commuters in three cities (Ado-Ekiti, Ile-Ife and Ondo) of south western Nigeria. Data used for the study were collected through stratified sampling techniques from six hundred and sixty-five users of commercial motorcycles through the use of questionnaires. The responses derived were subjected to non-parametric analysis and Analysis of variance.

Findings show that similarities exist among the sampled cities in terms of sex,age group, motorcycles related accident experiences and safety perception among users of commercial motorcycles. The result of the Chi-square analysis (x^sup 2^=22.369, p<0.05) shows a significant dependence between risk perceptions of users with motorcycles accident experience and the level of their risk awareness. Analysis of variance (F=6.416, p=0.002) shows a similarity in the level of risk perceptions among three cities.

The paper concluded by advocating the need for government to enforce the law on the use of protective devices by both operators and users. Creation of separate lanes for motorcyclists and other non motorized transport users is equally recommended.

Keywords: Public Transport, Commercial Motorcycles, Risk Perception,

Introduction

Despite the progress in road transportation in the southwestern Nigeria over the last two decades there is unanimous agreement among scholars that rapid urban expansion in the country undermines the desired equilibrium level in urban transport demand and supply in Nigeria. The inability of transport supply to meet the demand for transport by urban commuters has lead to the adoption of motorcycles in many of the cities of Nigeria as an alternative transport solution to the problems of commuting in most the cities (Adesanya, 1998).

Motorcycles have constituted a significant proportion of modal choice of commuters in many cities in Nigeria. Motorcycle transports possess several unique features such as narrow width, small size, high power-to-weight ratio and intuitive steering. These features according to Lee (2007) provide freedom in a traffic stream and cause some characteristic behaviour patterns in mixed traffic flow. For example, it is noted that motorcycles generally present more complex behaviour than passenger cars do; they exhibit more erratic and chaotic trajectories when making progress; and do not always follow the lane disciplines strictly (Gbadamosi, 2006). This behavioral pattern has also been observed among motorcycles operators in Nigeria.

Studies on motorcycles transportation in Nigeria have focused on its advantages as means of as inter-rural and rural urban transport (Oyesiku 8c Odufunwa, 2002;Ogunsanya and Galtima 1993, Adeniji 1985; 1987); Its operational cost, profit and wiliness to for motorcycles services (Fasakin, 2000a;2000b;2001); motorcycle accidents and safety (Okoko, 2000, Gbadamosi, 2006).

Although the use of motorcycles for urban transportation is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria, it has been commonly used as intra-city and inter-urban and rural transport services in riverine areas of the country for over three decades. It has also served as the common mode of inter-rural and rural-urban transport in the dispersed settlements of the eastern states of Nigeria and areas where the conventional public transport system services were not available (Ogunsanya and Galtima 1993;Adeniji, 1985; 1987). …

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