Child safety in residential streets - a designer's viewpoint (1979)

A residential street is primarily a place where people live, yet current design practice in Australia places predominant emphasis on the engineering requirements of the roadway. These streets are not as safe as they are presumed to be, especially for young pedestrians. The paper argues that inappropriate vehicle behaviour is the cause, and that this in turn can be modified by road design. Conventional views of street design and use are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of children, the purpose and needs of their play, and their capabilities in the traffic environment. It is argued that designers should consciously create an environment of care, in which the needs of moving traffic in residential areas are subordinated to those of the more vulnerable road users, consistent with the view of the street as a place rather than a channel for traffic. Even if the nature of the street is not changed substantially, subdivisions based on culs-de-sac with minimal frontages to local distributors could be expected to be safer. Additional benefits would follow the restraint of vehicle speed in both new and older areas. This must be achieved by physical design, but a change in current technical and community attitudes would be required.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Paper presented to National Conference on Childhood Accidents and Prevention, Brisbane, Sept. 1979. In: Pearn, J. (Ed.). The Prevention of Childhood Accidents - Design, Education and Legislation. Ch.8. (Australasian Medical Publications Company Limited, Glebe, NSW). (1982)
  • Corporate Authors:


    Melbourne, Victoria  Australia 
  • Authors:
    • Brindle, R E
  • Publication Date: 1996-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 33-43
  • Monograph Title: Residential area planning for pedestrian safety (1978)
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 53

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01437429
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 086910697X
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 8:40PM