Motorcyclists' Reactions to Safety Helmet Laws: A Qualitative Study

This article reports on a study conducted in Iran to investigate the reactions of motorcyclists to safety helmet laws. Motorcycles make up approximately 40% of the country's registered motor vehicles and nearly 70% of motorcycle deaths are due to non-use or improper use of helmets. The authors gathered data via four focus groups and 11 in-depth interviews. Participants were 32 male motorcyclists, 28 of whom never used a safety helmet during rides, and 4 male police officers. The authors codified the data into five issues: circumventing or dodging police officers; simulating a helmet wearing behavior; accepting the probability of receiving a ticket for not wearing a helmet; taking advantage of the police neglect and carelessness; and using a cheap or convenient helmet. The authors discuss the levels of reckless driving found among the participating motorcyclists in this study. They also point to a system of law enforcement that operates haphazardly and fails to consistently penalize those who deviate from it. They consider how a 'culture of masculinity' may encourage risk tolerance and a disposition toward lawlessness and carelessness among male motorcyclists. In addition, the availability and accessibility of cheap and non-standard helmets in the market highlights the need for the government to play a more regulatory role. The authors conclude by calling for the development and implementation of multidimensional interventions that would offer socio-culturally sensitive educational and motivational messages to the motorcyclists and the in-service traffic-enforcement officers in Iran.

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  • Authors:
    • Zamani-Alavijeh, Fereshteh
    • Niknami, Shamsaddin
    • Mohammadi, Eesa
    • Montazeri, Ali
    • Ghofranipour, Fazlollah
    • Ahmadi, Fazlollah
    • Bazargan, Shahrzad Hejazi
  • Publication Date: 2009-2-10


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01147252
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 15 2009 10:23AM