Star rating school walking routes

Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #275 [2008]

Authors: Corben B.F., Logan D.B. & Oxley J.A.

Full report in .pdf format [692KB]

Abstract:

Walking is fundamental to human mobility, but its perceived importance as a transport mode has fallen dramatically in past decades. The benefits of walking for society are numerous, including improved health, reduced traffic and enhanced social connection. It has become a community health priority to introduce some of these benefits to primary school children by encouraging active transport to and from school. Consequently, it is vitally important to ensure that children are able to walk safely, with one of the biggest threats being the potential for injury at road crossing points.

A general method for rating the safety of individual road crossing points was devised, based on the ‘star rating' concept familiar to many modern consumers of products and services. A model was developed that considered the main determinants of pedestrian crash and injury risk at a specified road crossing then, based on established relationships and expert consensus, mathematically combined them to generate a star rating between zero and five for each crossing point along a route. While the model is designed primarily for crossing points while recognising the abilities and limitations of children, it is intended to be generic in its application, subject to appropriate internal modifications.

This project demonstrated that it is feasible to objectively rate the safety performance of individual road crossing points, as well as to provide indications of overall route safety. Further work is desirable to improve both the robustness of the mathematical risk relationships utilised, as well as to broaden the applicability of the model to other walking populations and road environments.

Sponsoring organisation - Caulfield Community Health Service, operating within Caulfield Hospital , part of Bayside Health