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Training children in Safe Use of Designated Crossing

Foot, Hugh and Tolmie, A. and Thomson, J. and Whelan, K. and Sarvary, P. and Morrison, S. (2003) Training children in Safe Use of Designated Crossing. Road Safety Research Report, 34. pp. 1-91.

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Despite the intention that they should increase pedestrian safety, designated crossings (that is, marked out points for road crossing such as stand-alone signal-controlled crossings, zebras, and junction lights with a pedestrian phase) are known to be problematic in character (Carsten, Sherborne and Rothengatter, 1998). Bly, Dix and Stephenson (1999), comparing child pedestrian injury events in Great Britain, France and the Netherlands, found that children in Britain face a higher risk when using designated crossings. The most recent figures (2001) on pedestrian casualties for the UK bear out this point, with cases at all levels of severity tending to be more common at designated crossing sites than within 50 metres of them. Whilst the precise reasons for this are unclear, it may be the result of children in Britain also making less use of such crossings, and thus having a poorer grasp of what behaviours are appropriate at these points and why. It would therefore be valuable to ascertain what children do understand about designated crossings, and to attempt to ameliorate any gaps via educational intervention, especially since there has been little previous work of this kind. Indeed, at present, none of the practical pedestrian training schemes for children in use in the UK address safe use of designated crossings.