In Western Australia in 1995, pedestrian injury was the leading cause of injury-specific death in 5-9 year old children. The child mortality rate from pedestrian injury at the same time was more than double that of for Australia as a whole. Of those children severely injured in pedestrian crashes, over 80% experienced a head injury. Few comprehensive pedestrian safety interventions for primary-school-age children have been developed and evaluated. The Child Pedestrian Injury Prevention Project was a 3-year (1995-1997) randomised control trial involving a cohort of 1603 children followed from age 6 to 9 years. This multi-component project comprised an educational intervention for students, their parents and teachers, and the local community, as well as several environmental interventions. The primary aim of CPIPP was to improve children’s road-related behaviour and to enhance the safety of their road environment.
Three communities were assigned to the treatment conditions: (1) high-education, community, and environmental interventions; (2) moderate-education intervention only; and (3) comparison (usual road safety education). Children’s pedestrian knowledge and road crossing and playing behaviours were measured using a pre and post-test self-report questionnaire. Their self-reported road crossing behaviours were validated using an observational schedule and brief interview.
Children in the high and moderate intervention groups were significantly more likely to cross the road with adult supervision (P=0.013) and play away from the road (P=0.000) than the comparison group. No differences were detected in children’s pedestrian safety knowledge between the intervention and comparison groups. While several methodological limitations may have influenced the study outcomes, these data nonetheless indicate that in the study sample the CPIPP educational intervention decelerated the natural increase in children’s pedestrian-related risk behaviour.
The results and educational materials produced by CPIPP enhanced community awareness and responsibility for practices to reduce child pedestrian injury, especially awareness of children’s developmental, cognitive and perceptual difficulties using the road environment.
This intervention was used as a model for the prevention of injuries in pedestrians aged 6 to 9 years and distribution was state-wide as part of the WASRSP. CPIPP contributed to an improved knowledge of planning, dissemination, implementation, and evaluation of child pedestrian injury programs and other similar programs in WA.
Project findings indicated that an all-around approach to pedestrian injury prevention is required and that educational or environmental strategies used in isolation will have only limited long-tem impact on the reduction of road injuries and death in children.
Main Roads Western Australia
Western Australian Office of Road Safety
For further information about this project please contact Associate Professor Stacey Waters at email@example.com
Professor Donna Cross
The Public Health Association of Australia, Associate Professor Peter Howat
Dr Mark Stevenson
Ms Debra Blaze-Temple