Pedestrian safety improvements near New York City schools, including new traffic and pedestrian signals, speed bumps, high-visibility crosswalks and new parking regulations, were associated with a significant decrease in pedestrian injuries among school-aged children, according to a study in the February 2013 Pediatrics.
The study, “Effectiveness of a Safe Routes to School Program in Preventing School-Aged Pedestrian Injury,” published online Jan. 14, tracked pedestrian injuries in New York City between 2001 and 2010 to compare rates in areas that received federal money for pedestrian safety improvements with areas that did not receive such improvements.
During the study period, the annual number of pedestrian crashes for all age groups decreased 14.4 percent. Among school-aged children, pedestrian crashes decreased 33 percent. In areas that had received pedestrian safety improvements, the rate of school-aged pedestrian injury during school-travel hours decreased 44 percent. The rate remained virtually unchanged in areas without the improvements.
Study authors conclude that there is compelling evidence the Safe Routes to School Program protects children from injury, and that expanding the program to other schools would further reduce pedestrian injuries.