A child-based approach to road safety education for 8-11 year olds

01 June 1995

The broad aim of the study was to develop a road safety education resource which took into account the ways in which children aged 8-11 saw the road traffic environment and encouraged them to be part of the decision-making process in keeping themselves safe.

Using colour photographs of traffic situations, maps and simple questionnaires as stimuli, informal discussions were held with 128 children in eight schools. It was clear from the results that children tended to view the environment in terms of all potential threats to their safety, rather than just the danger from traffic. The presence of adults was often regarded as a threat, suggesting the strong influence of Stranger Danger campaigns. In general, children were reluctant, unless prompted, to accept personal responsibility for their own safety, opting instead for the introduction of safety engineering measures such as pelican crossings.