Introduction: This study examined the use of safety helmet and the proportion of motorcyclist who carried more than one passenger at a time by motorcyclist entering Obafemi Awolowo University and Teaching Hospital in Ile-Ife to determine the degree of helmet wearing and compliance with safety regulations by cyclist and their passengers.
Method: At peak times on a selected day, motorcycles were stopped at the university's entrance barriers. Both the motorcyclists and the passengers were identified. Student, employee, hospital patient and observations of the rate of the use of safety helmet by the motorcyclists and their passengers were recorded and questionnaires were also given to the motorcyclists and their passengers that are eighteen years and above and were collected back.
Results: A total of 4,779 motorcycles were stopped and observed, 241 (5%) of the motorcyclists carried passenger on the tank. Out of 974 motorcyclists who were alone on the motorcycle without passenger, only 652 wore safety helmet. About 1,188 were observed to carry 2 or more passengers at a time. Only 2,617 carried one passenger. About 9,785 questionnaires were also given to both the motorcyclists and their passengers. Only 8,125 were collected back at the collating centers out of which only 6,657 were completely filled by both motorcyclists and their passengers that were 18 years and above, coded and subsequently analyzed. Despite various designs and requirements of making the use of safety helmet a compulsory headgear for motorcycle riders and passengers in Ile-Ife, majority of them do not comply with motorcycle/traffic laws because there was no serious penalty for offenders whenever these rules were broken.
Conclusion: To avoid crashing by motorcyclist, education and proper training on traffic regulations to increase their knowledge of regulations bidding on motorcycles will be taught. Federal road safety corps, public health nurses, health workers and schools are to educate the masses on the effects and overall strategy of making use of safety helmet.
Practical application: There is need for the public health nurse and road safety corps to educate, counsel and re-orientate the motorcyclists and other road users on their mutual responsibilities such as exercising care, a discipline cyclist, by not carrying more than one passenger, obeying road safety rules on the use of safety helmet by both the motorcyclists and their passengers.