Socio-cultural and economic determinants of boda boda motorcycle transport safety in kisumu county, kenya.


Road safety remains one of the main societal concerns despite extensive research and interventions. It is a serious challenge in Kenya and the world over. The emergence of boda boda motorcycles as a means of transport in the village paths, the highways and city streets has brought a new dimension to road safety in Kenya. Motorcycle transport, though the most dangerous mode of transport, is still preferred by many because of its availability and flexibility. Although motorcycle safety has been a concern; only a few sociological studies have been conducted in Kenya to address the challenge. Motorcycle accidents pose a threat to the structure and functioning of the society. The study was conducted in Kisumu East sub-county in Kisumu county and sought to examine the socio-cultural and economic determinants of motorcycle transport safety. Specifically, the study sought to gather information on the demographic characteristics of riders in Kisumu East sub-county; to establish the levels of formal rider training among boda boda riders; to determine the levels of safety knowledge among boda boda riders; to determine boda boda motorcycle accidents rates in Kisumu East sub-county, to evaluate the attitudes and behaviour of boda boda motorcycle riders in Kisumu East sub-county; to establish whether pillion sitting style on boda boda influenced motorcycle safety and to establish whether there was a relationship between motorcycle ownership and boda boda safety. The study adopted descriptive and cross-sectional survey designs with a two-stage cluster sampling technique with PPS (Probability Proportional to Size) involving simple and systematic random sampling methods to select 370 respondents. The main data collection tool for the study was an interview schedule. Interview guide was also used to gather qualitative data from Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and key informants. Qualitative data was summarized in categories and themes using content analysis and NVIVO 10. SAS 9.3 was used to manage and analyze quantitative data. Inferential statistics such as Chi-square and Binary Logistic Regression were used to test relationships. The study utilized Structural Functionalism and Marxist theory of Social Structures as explanatory frameworks. Research findings obtained revealed that, majority of the riders were young with secondary education. However, majority (62.2%) were not formally trained to ride. Majority of riders (66.5%) had low levels of motorcycle knowledge. The study also found that Boda boda speeds were not regulated. In addition, about 65% of riders had one helmet and rider helmet use was low (34%). The study further established that about half of the riders (56.2%) did not own the boda bodas they operated. Moreover, the rate of accident involvement was high at 40.3% and riders engaged in bad riding behaviour most of the time. It also emerged that passenger sitting style on boda boda was a gendered cultural issue. The chi-square test found that formal rider training had no statistical significant relationship with accident involvement. Furthermore, binary logistic regression showed that, motorcycle xxi ownership lowered the odds of being involved in accidents by 57%. Based on the study findings, the study concluded that; although individual riders caused accidents, their decisions and behaviour were influenced by other societal factors. Therefore some socio-cultural and economic factors determined boda boda motorcycle safety. They included; formal training, motorcycle safety knowledge, rider behaviour, pillion sitting style on boda boda and boda boda ownership. On the basis of the findings, the study recommended the following; the government through NTSA to come up with rider specific schools that are subsidized to make it affordable for the riders or the government can subsidized some existing driving schools to train raiders. This will improve rider safety knowledge and skills hence reduce motorcycle related accidents. In addition, there is need to implement traffic rules and policies that improve road safety. This will ensure that testing and licensing are done accordingly. The study also recommended that BAC law be amended to reduce the officially acceptable blood alcohol content from the current 0.08 g/dl to 0.05 g/dl or less for boda boda riders. Since motorcycle ownership was found to influence accident involvement, the study proposes that the government through the Department of Youth Development and Youth Fund together with the private sector come up with credit facilities (with very low interest rates) that can enable the young people to own motorcycles. This may help in reducing motorcycle related accidents. 

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MARIE, G (2021). Socio-cultural and economic determinants of boda boda motorcycle transport safety in kisumu county, kenya.. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

MARIE, GLADYS "Socio-cultural and economic determinants of boda boda motorcycle transport safety in kisumu county, kenya." Afribary. Afribary, 28 May. 2021, Accessed 27 May. 2024.


MARIE, GLADYS . "Socio-cultural and economic determinants of boda boda motorcycle transport safety in kisumu county, kenya.". Afribary, Afribary, 28 May. 2021. Web. 27 May. 2024. < >.


MARIE, GLADYS . "Socio-cultural and economic determinants of boda boda motorcycle transport safety in kisumu county, kenya." Afribary (2021). Accessed May 27, 2024.