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Logo UHasselt Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action

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Public Defence Doctoral Thesis Enoch Frederick Sam

PRACTICAL

Nov 12, 2019 14.00 uur - 16.30 uur


Universiteit Hasselt

campus Diepenbeek

Agoralaan Gebouw D

3590 Diepenbeek

Lokaal H5

Doctoral thesis titled "Road safety in Ghana: Analysis of passenger safety evaluations and public transport (PT) use."

Promoter: Prof. Dr Stijn Daniëls 

Co-promoter: Prof. Dr Kris Brijs

Abstract
In developing countries, public transport (PT) occupants continue to be among the road users with the highest fatality rates. This development has the tendency to undermine efforts at encouraging PT use in these countries. The importance of personal safety on PT has been well explored. However, no study to date has explored which criteria PT users consider assessing their personal safety and how that influences their future PT use intentions. This study sets out to analyse road safety in Ghana with a specific focus on public transport (bus/minibus) safety by examining public bus/minibus passengers’ safety evaluations (a behavioural adaptation to PT unsafety) and its impact on future PT use intentions. Central to these objectives was the construction and validation of a public bus passenger safety scale (PBPSS) to measure public bus/minibus passengers’ personal safety attitude (PSA) as well as examine its effect on future intentions to use public bus/minibus for long-distance trips. 

The study used different research methodologies and two main data sources (primary and secondary) in the form of an exploratory sequential mixed methods design involving qualitative exploration in the first instance and a later quantification of the qualitative data in scale development. The two main data sources employed in the study were official data on public bus/minibus accidents (secondary data) and public bus/minibus user opinions (primary data).  Five different studies were conducted to address the formulated study questions.  

The study revealed that in Ghana, the prevailing road and traffic conditions are important predictors of public bus/minibus accident severity. Of the 13 factors found to significantly influence public bus/minibus accident severity in Ghana, 12 were prevailing road and traffic environment-related. Furthermore, the study observed that the criteria PT users’ consider to assess their personal safety are linked to 3 main conceptual dimensions related to the driver, transport operator and vehicle. Through both principal component and confirmatory factor analyses, the study demonstrated that the 3-factor solution hypothesised to underline PT users’ personal safety assessments is both reliable and valid and adequately captures the content domain of personal safety on PT. Lastly, it was found that the indirect measure of PSA modelled as a second-order factor concept provided a more parsimonious framework for explaining PSA and adequately predict future intentions to use public bus/minibus for long-distance trips. The study thus concludes that personal safety assessments focus on three important conceptual dimensions (factorial structure) and that the proposed scale is a useful measure of PT users’ personal safety attitude which influences both their attitude towards personal safety on public bus/minibus and future intentions to use public bus/minibus for long-distance trips. The research, policy and practice implications of the study findings are discussed.