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Children?s traffic safety:international lessons for the UK

Christie, N; Cairns, S; Ward, H; Towner, E; (2004) Children?s traffic safety:international lessons for the UK. (Road Safety Research Report 50 ). UCL (University College London), Department for Transport: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Children?s Traffic Safety: International Lessons for the UK attempts to identify goodpractice and innovation from other countries that could improve the traffic safety ofchildren in the UK. The key findings suggest that the UK has adopted good practicein a number of areas but that current practice needs strengthening. A morewidespread approach to modifying the environment is required in the UK toimprove the safety of children as pedestrians or bicyclists, and barriers toimplementation need to be overcome. Clearer guidelines are needed forimplementing low speed limits near schools and in identifying these areas asenforcement zones. In the UK there is a steep social gradient in child pedestrianfatalities and at present there is no routine monitoring of the socio-economic statusof all road traffic casualties. This data is needed to assess whether inequality targetsare being met. In terms of national profile, the UK does not compare favourablywith most other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)countries in terms of income distribution, relative child poverty and the number ofchildren living in one parent families in which the burden of poverty is high.Tackling the causes and effects of these inequalities on safety must continue to be apriority. A greater understanding is needed of how some countries achieve highlevels of safety behaviour (such as wearing seat belts or bicycle helmets) comparedto others so that these strategies could be used in the UK. More research is requiredto understand why safety behaviour is not as good among older children comparedto younger children. More consideration should be given to the introduction oflegislation on driver responsibility for pedestrian accidents. There could be morenational support for promoting safe and sustainable travel to school by linking thesethemes with explicit and clear curriculum topics and by making safe travel to schoolan aspect of the school inspection process. In terms of monitoring policy, exposurebasedtargets could be derived for children for different age, gender and road-usergroups. This seems especially important given the UK has policy targets forincreasing the amount of walking and bicycling by children. In addition, targetscould be set for secondary safety behaviour, such as seat belt or bicycle helmetwearing. There are many examples of innovative advocacy and action researchapproaches involving children that could be readily transferred to the UK. Moreinformation about these approaches would be useful.

Type: Report
Title: Children?s traffic safety:international lessons for the UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Additional information: Imported via OAI, 7:29:00 30th Oct 2005
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1217
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