Indigenous young people, bikes and safety

Vick, M. (2005) Indigenous young people, bikes and safety. Journal of Australasian College of Road Safety, 16 (1). pp. 29-37.

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This paper documents bicycle riding practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students' and their understandings of the significance of those practices. Data was obtained from 105 Indigenous students (36 male and 42 female primary students; 9 male and 18 female secondary students). All participants took part in a semi-structured individual interview and/or a focus group of 4-6, and responded to a questionaire.

Participants rode frequently and for a variety of purposes; over half claimed bicycles as their main mode of transport. Most demonstrated sound knowledge of core road rules, but reported high levels of non-compliance, with older males least compliant. Virtually all reported a range of unsafe riding behaviours. Most had been stopped by police for breach of legal requirements.

Qualitative data indicated high disregard for legal requirements as a basis for behaviour (except in relation to threats from other road users). Analysis indicates that different factors come into play in relation to different aspects of behaviour (e.g., doubling, and helmet wearing). Students explained various aspects of their behaviour in terms of differing combinations of pragmatic considerations, socio-economic constraint, and extended family obligations. Many also referred to dangers from others in a racist environment.

The analysis provides a basis for developing strategies for countering their unsafe riding behaviours. It suggests that attempts to encourage safer riding practices need to be sensitive to distinctive social and cultural circumstances and values of the local Indigenous communities, and that further attention needs to be paid to more general issues of race relations in the context of road use.

Item ID: 788
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1832-9497
Keywords: bicycles; Indigenous; risk; youth
Additional Information:

Copyright 2005 Australasian College of Road Safety

Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2006
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified @ 70%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 51%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control @ 49%
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