Transport demands and its impact on road safety and exposure to post traumatic stress disorder (POTSD). The case of boda boda operations in Murang’a town
The purpose of the study was to analyze the impact of road safety in relation to Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among boda boda operators in Murang‘a town. The study sought to answer the following questions: Which are the traffic laws and contingency measures that the government has put in place? How exactly do the boda boda operations comply with the existing laws and regulations? What are the challenges faced by law enforcers? How frequently and in what trend do motorcycle accidents happen? What are the pre-disposing variables to PTSD of boda boda accidents? The study was undertaken in Murang‘a town, Murang‘aCounty. The study adopted a descriptive research design which utilized both probability (simple random) and non-probability (snow balling) sampling methods. Simple random sampling of 87 boda boda operators who had not been involved in any road accident was deployed. Snow balling was finally deployed to sample other 87 boda boda operators who had gotten involved in a road accident. Data was collected using questionnaire for both operators who were not involved in road accident and operators who were involved in road accident. Key informants, who were OCPD and the traffic police on duty were interviewed in order to gain more insight on the phenomenon. Data collected were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The study found that there are clearly defined traffic rules and regulations that regulate boda boda transport system under the new traffic (Amendment) Act 2012. This include, a person shall not ride on a motorcycle without wearing a helmet, a jacket and a reflector, Every motorcycle shall be insured, a person shall not ride a motorcycle unless that person has a valid driving license and anyone who fails to comply with the provision of this section is liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand shillings or, in a default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months. The study found that most (65.4%) of the respondents did not adhere to the traffic laws even to those they were familiar with and only 34.6 percent complied to the traffic laws. The study found that the main challenges faced by law enforcers in their effort to enforce traffic laws in Murang‘a town are: lack of harsh penalties, corruption and lack of capacity. The study found that 25.9 percent of the total annual accidents were reported as fatal, 44.7 percent as serious injuries and 29.4 percent as slight injuries. This accounted for 100 percent of the accidents, thus implying that none of the accidents reported was non –injury, a situation that is not probable, casting doubts on the credibility of the data and lead to other questions as to whether the issue of under reporting is ever addressed by the authorities charged with accidents data reporting. In 2009 there were a total of 11,669 injuries, in 2010 there were 9771 injuries while in 2011 there were a total of 8876 injuries. Finally, the study also investigated on the presence of predisposing variables to PTSD among boda boda operators. The study found a mean of 44 percent of respondents who were not involved in road traffic accident showed presence of pre-accident variables to PTSD while 50 percent of those respondents involved in road traffic accident had pre accident symptoms to PTSD. The accident related variable portrayed in boda boda accident victims were shock, pain, helplessness and confusion and physical injury. Out of 87 respondents who were involved in raod accident, most (41.4%) experienced shock in the time of accident. The victims suffered broken limb (96.6%), road rash (50.6%), Head injury (19.5%) and spinal injury (17.2%).The study found that 61.1 percent of road boda boda operators who survived road traffic accident had post-accident symptoms to PTSD. Finally, the study findings concluded that if pre accident variables to PTSD are not treated, the survivor will experience accident- related variables and then post-accident variables, thus they are prone to PTSD. This could be caused by risk factors that increase the trauma, such as; living through dangerous events and traumas, dealing with extra stress after the event, Pain, injury or loss of a job or home, seeing people hurt or killed and having a history of mental illness.