In Britain almost 20% of road accidents involving children occur on the journeys to and from schools and hence research on safety for such journeys has considerable potential for reducing the accident toll amongst children. One of the problems of researching in this area is that data on the characteristics of children's journeys to and from school have typically been collected by manual methods and hence have been time consuming to collect and analyse. This paper reports on the results of a study which tackled this problem by combining self-reporting techniques with the application of a Geographic Information System (GIS) to enter route information and analyse the results. Up to 200 routes could be entered onto the computer per hour, thereby demonstrating it to be a very efficient system. It also allows flexibility in the level of spatial analysis because the data is stored in disaggregate form. This process has been used to examine differences in modal split and levels of parental accompaniment, and to help specify the location of school crossing patrols and traffic management measures. The level of under-reporting of accidents was also investigated and accident risk per kilometre of travel and per road crossed calculated using both the number of police reported casualities and the number stated by the children themselves. The main factor affecting modal choice by children was shown to be the type and busy-ness of roads the children had to cross on their journeys. Distance, age and gender were shown to be less important. The same was the case for accompaniment, though in this case age was also a significant factor. As a related exercise, parents were asked to comment on locations they considered to be dangerous, though the results showed that there was often very little correlation between such locations and sites with many accidents. Given that the perception of danger by parents was shown to be an important factor in children's mode and route of travel this may point to providing parents with a better awareness of high accident locations. (A) For the covering abstract of the conference see IRRD 882436.


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  • Accession Number: 00726331
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 28 1996 12:00AM