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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Road safety practices among school-going children in Chennai

  • Swathi Padankatti1Email author,
  • Uma Narayanan1,
  • Jisha Susan Babu1 and
  • Kuruvilla Thomas1
International Journal of Emergency Medicine20147(Suppl 1):O2

Published: 25 July 2014


Public HealthAlcoholInternal MedicineMobile PhoneEmergency Medicine


To study the awareness and execution of road safety practices among school children.


Design: Questionnaire based study

Setting & Participants: Children studying in 9th & 10th grades of city schools in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India.


Questionnaires were completed by 234 (93.6%) of 250 children who were approached. The mean age of the children was 14.3 (range 13-15 years). 70 (29%) were girls and 141 (60%) were boys; 23 (9.8%) did not fill in the personal details. 12 girls had driven a car or bike, of which 6 always, 4 sometimes and 2 never had driven without a helmet/seat-belt. 66 boys had driven a car or bike of which 32 has always, 22 sometimes and 12 had never driven without a helmet/seat-belt.

33 (47%) girls and 90 (63.8%) boys had ridden as pillion, of which only 5 boys and no girls wore a helmet. 17 (6.8%) children did not answer this question. 31 (21.9%) boys and 14 (2%) girls had had a road traffic accident (RTA); 4 boys and no girls sustained fractures. None of the children had a license. 34 (24%) boys and 17 (24%) girls used seat-belts in the passenger seat of cars. 10 boys and no girls had used mobile phones when driving. 10 (7%) boys and 11 (15%) girls admitted to disregarding traffic signals. 58 (41%) boys and 28 (40%) girls had friends who had an RTA. 22 (15%) boys and 2 (2%) girls had involved in racing while driving. None had consumed alcohol while driving.

116 (82%) boys and 49 (70%) girls rode bicycles on the road, 2 (4%) girls and 5 (4.3%) boys used helmets. 48 mothers and 115 fathers of these children used helmets while driving two wheelers: 60 mothers and 107 fathers used seat-belts while driving cars. 122 (86%) boys and 59 (84.2%) girls believed that helmets and seat-belts prevent serious injury.


Doing a cluster sampling of all the city schools would have yielded a more holistic picture.


The non-use of seat-belts, helmets, unlicensed driving of vehicles and scant regard to traffic rules are rampant in school-going children. The law regarding this has to be enforced and punishment maximised to improve road safety practices.

Authors’ Affiliations

Sundaram Medical Foundation Dr Rangarajan Memorial Hospital, Chennai, India


© Padankatti et al; licensee Springer 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.