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Road Traffic Accidents

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ONE FALSE MOVE… A Study of Children’s Independent Mobility Mayer Hillman, John Adams and John Whitelegg PUBLISHING The publishing imprint of the independent POLICY STUDIES INSTITUTE 100 Park Village East, London NW13SR Telephone: 071-387 2171; Fax: 071-388 0914 © Policy Studies Institute 1990 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Policy Studies Institute. ISBN 085374 494 7 A CIP catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library.

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Further information from PSI’s subscription agent: Carfax Publishing Company Ltd Abingdon Science Park, P O Box 25, Abingdon OX10 SUE Laserset by Policy Studies Institute Printed in Great Britain by Billing & Sons Ltd, Worcester Preface This report is based on a research study focused on junior schoolchildren aged 7 to 11, and senior schoolchildren aged 11 to 15. It explores their travel patterns and levels of personal autonomy, and the links that these have with their parents’ perception of the danger to which their children are exposed when travelling on their own.

The findings and conclusions are drawn from surveys carried out in 1990 in English schools in five areas of England, replicating surveys carried out in 1971 by Policy Studies Institute (formerly Political and Economic Planning) in the same schools in order to provide a temporal dimension to the study, and in five matching areas in Germany in 1990 to provide a cultural dimension. In acknowledging the considerable help obtained during the course of the study, we would particularly like to thank Juliet Solomon for her invaluable contributions to the writing of the report.

We would also like to record our appreciation of the hard work that Margaret Whitelegg put into managing the surveys in the German schools including translations of the questionnaires and relevant correspondence. We are grateful to Sebastian Rechenberger for his help with the translations and for his general advice. Thanks are also due to Richard McKinnon for co-operating with us in running the pilot survey in his junior school, Martin Munro and Steve Juggins for preparing the tabulations for us, and Claire Jarvis and Owen Tucker for the cartography.

The surveys in the English schools were administered by John Adams, Mayer Hillman, Alison Muir, Juliet Solomon and Sally Vernon; and in Germany by Stephan Czapla, Wolfgang Held, Sebastian Hoffmann, Alexander Kubitza and Antje Kilgus. We wish to thank the local education authorities, the Heads and teachers in the schools in which the surveys were carried out, and not least the children and their parents who responded so positively to our requests or co-operation and who ensured that we had such an exceptionally high response rate. Finally, the authors would like to thank Heidi Hillman and Clare Morgan for typing and word-processing the manuscript The research study has been made possible by grants from the following three organisations: the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund, the Department of Transport, and the Anglo-German Foundation. We are most grateful to them for their support. The conclusions drawn and the views expressed are, of course, those of the authors.

Contents List of Figures Preface Introduction 1. Danger on the roads 1 9 2. 3. 4. The surveys in English schools The surveys in German schools Discussion The role of personal mobility Differences in mobility and independence of England and German children The role of planning Escorting children ‘Stranger Danger’ Whose responsibility? A lobby on behalf of children Risk compensation and safety measures 20 SO 77 77 82 85 87 90 91 94 98 5. 6. Conclusions Appendices

Al English and German survey methods, areas, and response rates A2 Questionnaires for schoolchildren and their parents A3 Tables of findings of English and German surveys A4 The economics of escorting schoolchildren in Britain A5 Maps of survey areas in England and Germany 106 112 123 128 168 176 List of Figures Introduction Figure 1 Road accident death rates per 100,000 children and per 100,000 motor vehicles in England and Wales, 1922 and 1986 Figure 2 The effect of traffic volumes on the number of friends and acquaintances per person, in three residential streets

Chapter 1 Figure 1. 1 Figure 1. 2 Figure 1. 3 Figure 1. 4 Figure 1. 5 Figure 1. 6 Figure 1. 7 Road accident death rates per 100,000 children in Britain and West Germany, 1977 and 1987/88 Road accident death rates in England and Wales per 100,000 population in age groups 0-14 and 15-19 years, 1922 and 1986 Road accident death rates per 100,000 population in Britain and West Germany, in age groups 0-14,15-19/20, and over 20 years, 1988 Road accident death rates per 100,000 population in Britain and West Germany, for walking, cycling, and ll modes, in age groups 0-14,15-19 and 20-29 years, 1987 Standardised mortality ratios for children by cause of death, and for child pedestrians and all accidents among men and women, according to social class, England and Wales, 1986 Proportion of child road accident casualties in Britain according to hour of day, on weekdays and weekends, 1988 Road accident death and injury ratio per 100,000 population Chapter 2 Figure 2. Travel method and level of accompaniment of English junior and senior schoolchildren on the journey home from school Figure 2. 2 Reasons given by English parents for restricting junior schoolchildren from coming home alone from school Figure 2. 3 Concern of English parents about the risk of their schoolchild being injured in a road accident when crossing the road Figure 2. 4 ‘Licence-holding’ among English schoolchildren aged 7 and 11 Figure 2. Proportion of English schoolchildren “s weekend activities undertaken on their own, according to age Figure 2. 6 Proportion of English schoolchildren allowed to go out after dark, according to age and main reason for parental restriction Figure 2. 7 Variables of ‘licence-holding’ among English junior girls and boys Figure 2. 8 Figure 2. 9 Figure 2. 10 Figure 2. 11 Figure 2. 12 Figure 2. 13 Figure 2. 14 Figure 2. 15 Figure 2. 16 Figure 2. 17

Number of weekly journeys by travel method and journey purpose, according to British junior and senior schoolchildren’s age and gender Extent of adult accompaniment of English junior schoolchildren to school and other places, according to parental ‘licence* to cross roads Journey home from school by English junior schoolchildren on foot and by car, according to household car ownership ‘Licence’ to cross roads and to cycle among English junior and senior schoolchildren, according to area Journey home from school by English junior schoolchildren on foot and by car, according to distance Proportion of English junior schoolchildren living in households with cars in five areas, 1971 and 1990 Independent mobility of English junior schoolchildren according to age, 1971 and 1990 Method of travel to school by English junior schoolchildren and whether unaccompanied by an older person, 1971 and 1990 Number of accompanied and unaccompanied weekend activities among English junior schoolchildren, 1971 and 1990 English parents’ judgement about their opportunities as children for going out on their own as compared with those of their junior schoolchild in 1990 Chapters Figure 3. 1 Travel method and level of accompaniment of German junior and senior schoolchildren on the journey home from school Figure 3. Reasons given by German parents for restricting junior schoolchildren from coming home alone from school Figure 3. 3 Concern of German parents about the risk of their schoolchild being injured in a road accident when crossing the road Figure 3. 4 ‘Licence-holding’ among German schoolchildren aged 7 and 11 years Figure 3. 5 Proportion of German schoolchildren’s weekend activities undertaken on their own, according to age Figure 3. 6 Proportion of German schoolchildren allowed to go out after dark, according to age Figure 3. 7 Variables of’licence-holding* among German junior girls and boys Figure 3. 8 Figure 3. 9 Figure 3. 10 Figure 3. 11 Figure 3. 12 Figure 3. 13 Figure 3. 14

Extent of adult accompaniment of German junior schoolchildren to school and other places, according to parental ‘licence’ to cross roads Journey home from school by German junior schoolchildren on foot and by car, according to household car ownership ‘Licence’ to cross roads and to cycle among uerman junior and senior schoolchildren, according to area Journey home from school by German junior schoolchildren on foot and by car, according to distance Household car ownership among English and German junior and senior schoolchildren, 1990 Comparison of the ‘licence-holding* variables among English and German junior schoolchildren, by age, 1990 Comparison of English and German junior schoolchildren going to school alone and holding ‘licence’ to cross roads alone, 1990 Chapter 4 Figure 4. 1 Proportion of unemployed mothers according to whether their junior schoolchild is allowed to come home from school alone, by age of child Figure 4. 2 Association between employment status of mothers and whether their junior schoolchild is allowed to come home from school alone Introduction How safe are our children? One answer to this question is provided by a recent government road safety campaign poster.

It depicts a child about to step off the kerb into the street. Superimposed on the picture is the message: ‘One false move and you’re dead. ‘ The message is deliberately stark and frightening, and honest. On today’s heavily trafficked streets, impetuousness, lapses of concentration, carelessness, misjudgments – the sorts of behaviour characteristic of children – can be, and all too often are, punished by death. The government offers a second, more reassuring answer. ‘Over the last quarter of a century, Britain’s roads have become much safer. Road accidents have fallen by almost 20% since the mid-1960’s; die number of deaths is down by one third’. 1 This encouraging view is also taken by the police.

A secretary to the safety committee of the Association of Chief Police Officers, commenting on Britain’s road accident record, observed that “This is now the safest country… in Europe’. Those responsible for the formulation and implementation of road safety policy are saying apparently contradictory things. On the one hand, they offer encouragement and reassurance, claiming that impressive progress has been made; Britain’s roads are now safer than those of any other country in Europe. On the other hand, they depict a Britain that is terrifyingly dangerous. How can these contrasting views be reconciled? The basis of the reassuring message is statistical. Despite large increases in traffic, Britain, judged by its road accident statistics, has become very much safer, especially for children.

Figure 1 shows that there are now about half as many children killed in road accidents One False Move … every year (per 100,000 children) as there were in 1922, despite the fact that there are no w about 25 times more motor vehicles on the road. The decrease in the child road accident death rate per vehicle since 1922 is over 98 percent. Put another way, the Figure also shows that the average motor vehicle in 1922 was more than 50 times as likely to kill a child than the average motor vehicle in 1990. How have these remarkable reductions in death rates been achieved? Before attempting to answer this question, let us consider a different view: that Britain’s roads have not become safer for children, but much more dangerous.

This view is expressed in the following passage, taken from an account by Roald Dahl of his childhood in Glamorgan in 1922. ‘I can remember very clearly the journeys I made to and from school because they were so tremendously exciting. Great excitement is probably the only thing that really interests a six-year old boy and it sticks in his mind. In my case, the excitement centred around my new tricycle. I rode to school on it every day with my eldest sister riding on hers. No grown-ups came with us and I can remember, oh so vividly how the two of us used to go racing at enormous tricycle speeds down the middle of the road and then, most glorious of all, when we came to a corner, we would lean to one side and take it on two wheels.

All this you must realise, was in the good old days when the sight of a motor-car on the street was an event, and it was quite safe for tiny children to go tricycling and whooping their way to school in the centre of the highway. ‘. The childhood reminiscences of’ the good old days’ of most people over the age of 40 have a similar flavour. The reduction in private motoring during the Second World War, and the period of austerity following, resulted in low levels of traffic, and streets that were considered safe for children. As a result most children then had far more freedom to roam the neighbourhood and play in the streets than they do today.

The ‘good old days’ of reminiscence and the ‘good new days’ depicted by the accident statistics are reconciled by the loss of children’s freedom. The streets have not become safer, they have become, as the government’s poster proclaims, extremely dangerous. It is the response to this danger, by both children and their parents, that has contained the road accident death rate. Introduction Figure 1 8 rate per 100,000 population Road accident death rates per 100,000 children and per 100,000 motor vehicles, in England and Wales, 1922 and 1986 1922 100 80 1986 rate per 100,000 vehicles 60 40 20 1922 1986 •i Age 0-14 Source: O? CS,The Registrar General’s Statistical Review ofEngland and Wales 1922 and Mortality Statistics: Cause, DH2, No. 13,1986.

Note: Motor vehicle figures were not available for England and Wales in 1922, so in both years the motor vehicle populations used are those for Great Britain. One False Move… Measures of safety and danger One of the main messages of this study, which has been discussed in earlier studies, is that road accident statistics are a very bad, and often misleading, measure of safety or danger. Where danger is perceived, the perception is acted upon – people try to get out of the way if they see that something is about to hit them. If certain areas or situations are seen as dangerous they are avoided, or entered with a high level of vigilance, with the result that the danger is not reflected in the accident statistics.

Yet, the only ‘proof that many highway authorities will accept that a road is dangerous, and merits measures to slow or divert traffic, is a large number of accidents. People are frequently told that their fears are groundless because their road has a good accident record. The ‘good* accident record is usually explained by the fact that children are forbidden to play in the street or even cross it, old people are afraid to cross it, and fit adults cross it quickly and extremely carefully. This point is routinely missed by many road engineers to whom people complain that the roads on which they are living are dangerous. Road traffic is dangerous because it consists of heavy machines under the control of fallible humans.

If these machines collide with each other, or with other objects or people in their surrounding environment, physical damage is caused. One simple and direct physical measure of traffic danger is traffic volume. Other physical measures relate to the characteristics of the traffic. Vehicle weights, speeds, variability of speeds, and traffic densities are characteristics which correlate positively with traffic danger – the greater the variability in the speed of traffic, and the denser the traffic, the greater the likelihood of collisions; the heavier the vehicles, and the greater their speed when they collide, the greater the damage that will be done. Judged by such direct physical measures, traffic danger has clearly increased throughout the whole of this century.

Every year there is more heavy metal circulating on the roads. Another set of measures of danger are behavioural. These measures reflect the desire to avoid danger and were clearly demonstrated by a study of the effect of traffic volumes on the amount of neighbourly interaction in residential streets. Figure 2 shows the way in which the number of local friends and acquaintances in three streets in San Francisco diminished as traffic on the streets increased. Introduction The study found that knowledge of neighbours across the street decreased sharply as traffic increased, suggesting that a good accident record is often purchased at the cost of community severance. Figure 2 number

The effect of traffic volumes on the number of friends and acquaintances per person in three residential streets UQht Moderate Traffic level Friends I Acquaintances Heavy Light-2,000 vehicles per day; Moderate-8,000 vehicles per day; Heavy-16,000 vehicles per day Note: The Figure is constructed from numbers in Donald Appleyard, ibid. Considerable evidence already exists about the physical danger of traffic. Surveys of traffic and its characteristics are conducted widely and routinely, although they are rarely interpreted as physical measures of road traffic danger. There is, however, comparatively little evidence relating to people’s responses to traffic danger.

One of the aims of the surveys conducted in this study has been to devise a set of behavioural indicators of this danger to children. This was proposed in the PSI study referred to earlier. We refer to our principal set of indicators as ‘licences’. At the age of 16 in Britain one can get a licence to ride a moped, and at 17 a licence to ride a motor cycle or drive a car. These age limits are usually justified on the grounds that a certain degree of maturity of judgement and physical competence should be attained before a person can be One False Move… permitted to put his or her own life, and the lives of others, at risk on the public highway. They represent both an official acknowledgement of the danger of traffic, and a response to it. In addition to these official icences, a variety of other parental licences to get about independently are issued at younger ages. The ages at which these parental licences are issued reflect parental judgements about the degree of maturity and competence required by their children to cope safely with the perceived dangers that lie outside the home. The principal focus of this study is the independent mobility and safety of children. The statistical evidence on traffic accidents upon which we rely comes mainly from published sources and from our own surveys. The first of our surveys was conducted by Political and Economic Planning (PEP) in 1971 and the results were described in considerable detail in two subsequent reports.

The 1971 surveys were conducted in junior schools in Islington (a London Borough), suburban Nottingham, the post-war new town of Stevenage, the small city of Winchester, and rural Oxfordshire. For the 1990 surveys, we returned to the same junior schools and also went to the secondary schools to which most juniors transfer in their 12th year, and asked many of the same questions. Appendix 2 contains the questionnaires used in 1990 for both the children and their parents. The German dimension In addition to changes over time in England, we have explored differences between England and West Germany in 1990. For many years there has been a large and persistent difference in the road accident death rates of West Germany and England.

In 1988, the rate in West Germany was over 40 per cent higher – 13. 0 per 100,000 population compared to 9. 2 in England. But, interestingly for this study, the road accident death rate for child in pedestrians in West Germany was 33 per cent lower than in Britain – 1. 71 per 100,000 in West Germany compared to 2. 57 in Britain. 1 1 Our English surveys were repeated in Germany. The questionnaires were translated into German and the identical format retained. They were used in a survey of 10 German schools in areas chosen to match as closely as possible the characteristics of the areas surveyed in England in terms of population size and settlement density.

With their English counterparts, they are: Introduction Islington, London Nottingham Stevenage New Town Winchester Oxfordshire Koln (Innenstadt) Bochum Chorweiler New Town (Kb’ln) Langenfeld/Schwelm (Wuppertal) Witten Chapter 1 discusses the inadequacy of road accident statistics as measures of safety and danger, and the need for an alternative. Chapter 2 sets out the main results of our surveys in England, and compares them with those of the PEP surveys in 1971. Chapter 3 presents the same evidence for Germany and describes the most important differences between the two countries. In Chapter 4, we consider the implications of this evidence for road safety and transport policy.

Chapter 5 outlines the theory of risk compensation, as our data on the reduction in children’s independent mobility are a prime example of this mechanism at work, and demonstrates the need to consider safety measures from mis perspective. Chapter 6 contains our conclusions, and a proposal for a new set of behavioural measures of road safety. Notes 1. Department of Transport, Safety on the Move, 1990. 2. Letter to The Times on 27 March 1989, from the Chief Constable of Warwickshire writing in his capacity of secretary to the Safety Committee of ACPO. 3. Estimates of traffic are not available for 1922. But the distance travelled annually by the average motor vehicle has almost certainly increased substantially since that time. 4. RoaldDahl, Boy, Penguin, 1986. 5.

Stephen Plowden and Mayer Hillman, Danger on the Road: the Needless Scourge, Policy Studies Institute, 1984, and J. G. U. Adams, ‘Evaluating the effectiveness of road safety measures’, Traffic Engineering and Control, June 1988, pp. 344-352. 6. Donald Appleyard, Liveable Streets, University of California Press, 1981, p. 21. 7. Stephen Plowden and Mayer Hillman, op. cit. , p. 237. 8. Department of Transport, the two statistical series published annually of Road Accidents Great Britain and Transport Statistics Great Britain. The National Travel Survey carried out One False Move … intermittently by the Department of Transport contains detailed information on travel behaviour, most recently for the years 1985/86. 9.

Mayer Hillman, Irwin Henderson and Anne Whalley, Personal Mobility and Transport Policy, 1973, and Transport Realities and Planning Policy, 1976. Both were published by PEP (Political and Economic Planning), a precursor to the Policy Studies Institute from which this present study has been conducted. 10. Unfortunately, because of the way in which the statistics are published, some figures relate to England and some to Britain. Generally rates per 100,000 population are slightly lower for England. For example, total road deaths per 100,000 in 1988 for England were 9. 2, and for Britain as a whole, 9. 3; for pedestrian fatalities, the Figures respectively are 3. 0 and 3. 1. 11.

Our principal source of evidence for West German road traffic accidents is Verkehrsunfalle 1988, Statistisches Bundesamt, (Verkehr, Fachserie 8, Reihe 7. ) 1. Danger on the Roads Road accident statistics are the traditional measure of road safety success and failure. They are virtually the sole one used both in this country and internationally, and in most road safety literature. They serve as the basis of the government’s claim that Britain’s roads have become much safer over the past 25 years. They are also used in the formulation of its strategy aimed at reducing road casualties by one third by the year 2000. As we have seen in the Introduction, road accident statistics on their own are an inadequate, and often misleading, measure of safety or danger.

However, because they are still the most commonly-used measure, we examine them here in greater detail. Road accidents statistics Figure 1 in the Introduction showed that since 1922 there has been a large decrease in the road accident death rate per 100,000 children, and an enormous – 98 percent – decrease in the child road death rate per 100,000 motor vehicles. Equivalent figures going back to 1922 are not available for West Germany. However, more recent data set out in Figure 1. 1 show that over the past ten years the child road accident death rate for Britain has continued to decline, while the rate for West Germany has declined much more rapidly. The total child road accident death rates for the two countries are now very close.

The lower child pedestrian death rate in West Germany, noted in the Introduction, is offset by the greater numbers killed in cars. Figure 1 in the Introduction and Figure 1. 1 above present data on death rates per 100,000 children. In order to establish whether or not they demonstrate a road safety improvement from the perspective of the child, one needs information about the exposure of children to traffic. The fact that no children were killed last year while driving cars does not indicate that it is a safe activity for them. On the contrary, it indicates that it is considered so dangerous that they are forbidden 9 One False Move… to do it, and their level of exposure to this particular danger is, as a consequence, very low. Figure 1. 1 12

Road accident death rates per 100,000 children in Britain and West Germany, 1977 and 1987/8 rate per 100,000 population of children 10 8 6 1977 1987/8* •i Britain R! West Germany * The rate for Britain is for the year 1988. Increases over time in traffic volumes are fairly well documented, but they provide only one part of the necessary exposure measure. The missing part is the amount of time that children spend in the streets. Historically, this has been very poorly recorded. Our study is concerned primarily with children, usually defined for statistical purposes in both Britain and West Germany as people under the age of 15 years. It is, however, important to know what happens to them when they grow older.

A question that needs to be asked is whether the reduction in the number of children killed in road accidents represents lives saved or deaths deferred to a later age group. A recent government leaflet on road safety education is entitled Lessonfor Life. It is based on the fundamental assumption common to all forms of road safety education that the skills, attitudes and habits acquired by children have a powerful influence subsequently on adult behaviour on the roads. Another government safety leaflet refers to the importance of establishing ‘… a firm foundation of safe habits 10 Danger on the roads [which will make children safer] later in adult life’. Figure 1. 2 raises questions about this assumption.

It shows that the impressive reductions in children’s road death rates since the 1920s have been more than offset by increases in the next higher age band as more teenagers have gained access to motorised transport. While the death rate for children has almost halved, the rate for 15 to 19 year olds has increased four-fold. Figure 1. 2 Road accident death rates in England and Wales per 100,000 population in age groups 0-14 and 15-19 years, 1922 and 1986 rate per 100,000 population in England & Wales 25 20 15 10 1922 I Age 0-14 I Age 15-19 1986 Data were not available for the same period to permit a similar examination of change over time in West Germany. However, Figure 1. shows a comparison for the most recent year available which indicates that the increase in the death rate, as children move into the next age band, is much higher in West Germany than in Britain. This suggests that the reductions achieved in child fatalities, particularly for German pedestrians, might represent not lives saved, but deaths deferred. This possibility is explored in Chapter 4. Figure 1. 4 shows the relatively decreasing significance, with age, of walking and cycling accidents. Although accurate data for these modes of travel per kilometre do not exist, this distribution of fatalities almost certainly reflects the decrease in walking and cycling, and the 11 One False Move… ncrease in travel by motorised means, as children grow older and then become old enough to drive. Figure 13 Road accident death rates per 100,000 population in Britain and West Germany, in age groups 0-14,15-19/20, and over 20 years, 1988 deaths per 100,000 population Britain Age oroup West Germany I 0-14 • 15-19/20 I rest Notes: in Britain, the middle age band is IS to 19, and in West German 15 to 20 years. The German figures are based on 1988 fatality data and 1987 population data. There are two problems with the cycling and walking exposure data. There is little accurate information about the characteristics of cyclists and the pattern of cycling.

For instance, comparison of cycle mileage in Britain each year reported in Transport Statistics Great Britain* and as can be calculated from the latest published National Travel Survey, reveals a total in the former which is 50 per cent higher than the latter. Moreover, although statistics on walking as a mode of travel are collected in the National Travel Survey, none are collected on a comprehensive and routine basis on the amount of time children spend playing in the streets, in spite of the fact that many accidents occur when they are doing so. Social class correlates highly with mortality for all ages by all causes of death. Figure 1. 5 shows that child pedestrian death rates 12 Danger on the roads Figure 1. 4

Road accident death rates per 100,000 population in Britain and West Germany for walking, cycling, and all modes, in age groups 0-14,15-19 and 20-29 years, 1987 deaths per 100,000 population in West Germany Red + cycle Mode of travel Age in years I Up to 14 deaths per 100,000 population in Britain 15-20 121-34 Ped + cycle Mode of travel Age in years I Up to 14 15-19 I 20-29 13 One False Move… Figure 1. 5 Standardised mortality ratios for children by cause of death, and for child pedestrians and all accidents among men and women, according to social class, England and Wales, 1986 500 standardised mortality ratios for children 400 300 200 100 I II IIIN HIM IV Unocc

Social class HI Pedestrians standardised mortality ratios All injury accidents ! All causes 400 IIIN HIM Social class IV Unocc I Child podostrtdns Hil Men all Injuries i i Women all Injuries Source: OPCS, Occupational mortality, 1978-80 and 1982-83, Decennial Supplement Nos. 6 and 8. The ratios for children are for child pedestrians, all causes of injury, and all causes of death. The ratios for adults are for all external causes of injury among men aged 20 to 64 and for women aged 20 to 59 years. 14 Danger on the roads correlate closely with all causes of child deaths. It also shows that the pattern for child pedestrian deaths coincides fairly closely with the pattern for adult accident deaths.

These patterns reflect the work of many interrelated cultural and environmental factors. The graph of child road accidents in Figure 1. 6 displays clear peaks on weekdays that coincide with the times at which children are going to, or coming home from school. This has led to a concentration on the journey to school as a major area of safety concern. Many local authorities have responded with ‘safe routes to school* programmes or with the provision of school-crossing patrols. However, despite the fact that accident peaks occur during the hours immediately before and after school, only 11 per cent of child road accident fatalities occur on school journeys.

This may reflect the success of past efforts at making the school journey safer, especially the increase in escorting children. It also indicates that the problem of children’s road safety is a diffuse one. Much of the time that children spend outside their homes is spent not on purposeful travel to and from school but on other journeys, and in play, a much more random, dispersed and unpredictable activity. Figure 1. 6 16 14 12 10 8 Proportion of child road accident casualties in Britain according to hour of day, on weekdays and weekends, 1988 percent 6 4 2 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Hour beginning I Weekdays ! Weekends 15 One False Move… Road fatalities and injuries Discussion of road accident statistics in this tudy is confined to fatalities. Because of their seriousness they are reported with a high degree of accuracy, and there is an agreed international definition death within 30 days – that makes it possible to compare fatality rates between countries with confidence. On the other hand, the reporting of non-fatal injuries is fraught with uncertainty. Within Britain there is wide geographical variation in the proportion of injury accidents that are fatal and, as Figure 1. 7 shows, virtually no correlation between fatalities and injuries. London, for example, has the highest rate of road accident injuries and one of the lowest rates of road accident fatalities.

This variation is caused in part by differences in traffic conditions; where congestion is bad, average speeds are likely to be low and accidents more frequent and less severe. But almost certainly, it also reflects variation in the reporting of injuries. In London, with its relatively high level of policing, minor injuries stand a better chance of becoming official statistics than they do in rural areas, such as Dumfries and Galloway, where one has to travel much further to find a policeman to whom to report. What is not known is the degree to which this geographical variation reflects real differences, and the extent to which it is a recording phenomenon.

The same doubts attach to the time series data for injuries and fatalities. According to the official road accident statistics, the fatality rate in Britain now is about 20 per cent below the level of the mid-1920s, while the injury rate has almost doubled. These could be real differences, explained in part by faster and better medical treatment for road accident casualties. Alternatively, they could be accounted for in part by more thorough recording of minor injuries by the police, and in part by increased incentives, perhaps for insurance reasons, for people to report their injuries. No one appears to know how influential are each of these factors.

In West Germany the variable under-recording of accidents has also been a recognised problem, acknowledged in the road accident literature by the term ‘Dunkelziffer’ – dark numbers. Even if all reporting inaccuracies could be removed, the interpretation of the statistics would still not be straightforward. If, for example, Dumfries and Galloway could be transformed in such a way as to make its road accident record more like that of London – 16 Danger on the roads with far more, but less serious, accidents – would that represent a road safety improvement? Or if we could revert to the accident record of the 1920s – with more fatalities but far fewer injuries – would that represent a road safety improvement?

Until it can be agreed how many injuries, and of what severity, equal one life, such questions cannot be answered. Figure 1. 7 20-i Road accident death and injury ratio per 100,000 population • 181614 Z a) Did you travel with someone else? b) If YES, who was that? (lick only one box) parentj[ another adult ] older child I child of same age or younger [ I Pi’^;. .'”$:’ 12 . J3 : • •. ‘, [4 : ] •. BUfow are you going home? (tick only one box) walk all the way; i_J cycleO 2 ‘•:•:/”:: . Vill you travel home with someone else? bus or train I_1^ -6sti4>. -” |} If YES, who will that be? (tick only one box) another adult [ 12 older child Q 3 child of same age or younger;[ 14 far do you live from school? p to half a kni | half to one km [ one to two kms | more than two kms | 19! 12 13 14 I Do you have a bicycle? |») If YES, arc you allowed to cycle on main roads? vcs 123 •c) If NO, would you like to be allowed to? yes *d) Write in the box how old you were when you were first allowed to cycle on main roads. age no |~~|ll iyes 7 a) Are you allowed to cross main roads by yourself? *t>) It NO, would you like to be allowed to? EBE2BE11* *c) If YES, write in the box how old you were when yon were first allowed to do so. S Do you go on buses by yourself? *9 Write in the box the number of friends you can visit on your own. (answer only if you are allowed to do soon your own) 10 Which, if any, of these activities did you do, yesterday or on Saturday: (tick in the first column if you did these things on your own) (tick in the second column ifyou were taken by an adult on the journey) I«i visited your own Mll^ pa* or playing f||ot;:::QS|lQ6 swimming :|~]:p»P~|S played outside your hoine’? i| went for a walk | cycled around | Sunday school | [‘; . ,;[ | | | [t cinema fooiball match on own taken [~~|u [~~]v [ |w wriic down any other places you went to D D*> …………………………………………………………….. D nage | girl | ah boy . . :. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .;. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . n a* 11 Write in ttic box your age. 2 Tick in the box if you are: n nThank you very much for your help 124 HOW YOUR CHILD GETS ABOUT questionnaire for the parent of schoolchildren from 7 to 15 years Please answer each question by pulling a tick in the box like this J[ or where asked write in a number, like this |^- J THE FOLLOWING QUKSTIONS ARE A1KHJT YOUK CHILD || Is your child usually allowed to come home from . school alone? no [ |a1 yes b) If NO, write in the box the number or days a week your child is collected. number j jb ^ What is the main reason for not allowing your child to go alone? (lick only one reason) i – __ »raffic danger |_|c1 child unreliable or too young [ )2 |3 |4 |5 •” ear of assault or molestation by aduli [ school too far away | fearof bullying by other chidren I d) Write in the box the age at which you are likely to allow your child to go alone. age | If YES, write down the age when your child was first allowed to go alone. age | |e 0 What was the main reason for not allowing your child to go alone at an 96 93 100 94 72 93 94 97 98 100 98 100 100 51 97 75 96 63 76 87 84 •a gJ gs leisure alon e 1971 ej 1990 ej es /-^——v 79 43 80 51 67 78 88 79 86 97 97 88 95 SS 98 100 85 37 84 70 92 35 91 99 48 87 61 Si gs from school alone ej 11 es gs use buses 1971 ej 1990 ej 67 93 81. 85 16 96 79 32 58 2 9 53 8 34 1 0 99 ——x 43 93 98 99 100 94 es 5 10 66 1 78 76 89 89 90 31 43 95 93 36 60 93 85 49 64 15 84 31 87 2 24 5 37 65 . go out after dark 0 ej es gJ gs cycle owners 1971 ej 1990 ej es gJ gs 4 S3 gs 6 8 13 6 10 30 75 92 81 63 92 92 64 89 99 /•—•- —^ 61 88 87 89 87 80 89 53 59 50 67 76 95 81 90 73 86 62 87 90 76 86 88 25 77 34 81 cycle owners allowed on roads 17 17 21 1990 ej es gJ gs 35 27 33 31 46 74 81 77 81 77 97 98 100 .131 age In years 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Reporting of permission to cross roads alone: ej and es child parent 22 8 26 12 52 21 76 30 95 73 93 82 97 92 14 15i 100 96 100 100 Reporting of permission to use buses: chi Id parent 55 1 1 8 32 5*8 56 37 76 49 89 72 95 84 94 95 Table 2.

Children’s attitudes to restrictions on their Independence, according to age age In years 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 child minds about restriction on crossing roads: ej 54 65 50 39 (0) It 15+ all 52 31 ~60~~ gj 34 25 32 (40) (33) child minds about restriction on cycling: ej es gj gs 48 45 66 55 58 53 65 49 68 46 (22) 63 39 58 59 40 (50) 32 (67) (13) 48 49 50 Table 3. Children’s attitudes to restrictions on their independence, according to area area I si Hot Ste Win Oxf KOI Boc Cho Lan Ult child minds about restriction on crossing roads: ej 26 43 47 87 41 59 46 54 60 63 46 (60) 40 35 50 69 56 80 67 45 40 76 si child minds about restriction on cycling: ej es SJ 8s 25 41 53 59 34 12 62 43 132 Tabla 4.

Travel Bathed and level of accOBpanleent to school, according to age in years 11 12 13 70 55 88 38 0 0 0 6 2 35 0 44 28 9 13 12 35 6 6 8 7 3 0 3 4 28 O 18 43 53 8 10 48 31 51 38 Travel method walk ej es 7 49 85 0 0 8 57 87 0 0 3 4 9 61 80 1 0 4 10 77 75 2 3 3 8 19 14 It 50 39 15+ 56 36 all 63 51 83 37 Si gs cycle ej es Si bus ej 1 33202 63 41 53 5 6 4 38 51 11 6 10 29 45 15 10 1 5 3 38 5 49 33 9 11 9 56 6 gs es 3 2 47 S3 Ss car ej es 8 34 12 39 9 12 gj 8s Accompaniment: parent ej es 71 16 71 12 58 8 36 13 6 4 8 13 S3 gs other adult 12 75356 8 12001 5 31122 7 24 11 12 86 65 78 67 83 78 91 71 83 29 69 72 79 133 ej es Si 13 9 9 3 8 5 5 3 8s older child l’ ‘• ej es SJ gs ej ej Si 9 23 9 13 8 7 3 1 7 11 * 26 11 23 4 16 10 alone 1971 1990 ?, 72 7 52 87 11 71 88 27 ,——*-—— ‘ 94 55 83 54 64 es 8s 81 94 70 Table 5. to age Travel method and level of accoapanlnent fro« school, according Travel method: 7 8 64 90 0 0 2 4 34 5 9 66 84 1 10 76 84 2 age In years 11 12 75 57 94 36 0 0 48 33 3 6 43 57 7 4 13 52 40 3 3 41 53 3 4 14 56 40 2 4 36 52 6 4 15+ 65 36 0 10 27 52 7 2 all 67 54 87 38 1 2 1 5 3 38 5 51 30 6 8 6 walk ej es SJ S« 54 89 0 0 3 3 43 8 cycle ej es 83 gs bus ej es 020 6 332 38 760 44 31 10 19 10 23 5 6 14 8i car 8s ej es Si gs Accoapan loan t ; parent ej •s 81 8s 76 10 68 6 53 33 30 6 6 3 2 3 4 0 8 3 53 4 11 3 15 24 12 15 32 72 77 81 57 7 16 16 32 77 7 3 60 92 13 20 0 18 57 75 93 85 other adult/older child ej 19 20 es SJ gs alone ej es SJ 23 5 68 12 11 83 28 16 66 81 28 18 70 80 27 8 69 92 11 8 81 90 8s 134 Table 6. Type of accompaniment and travel method on the journey from school Accompaniment: ualk cycle bus car parent ej es 8J gs 39 0 4 0 6 1 0 11 11 10 13 44 83 35 87 < 0) ( 0) (50) 0 ( 0) < 0) < 0) 0 ( 0) (11) ( 0) 22 (100) (89) (50) 78 (50) 1 0 0 (21 ) 1 0 0 < 7. ) 46 50 16 (21) 52 50 84 89 89 88 76 11 11 12 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 other adult ej es SJ gs older child ej es SJ alone/same age gs ej es g-< gs table 7. Distance to junior and senior schools C* dlstanc,e In kms 2+ H

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Road Traffic Accidents. (2016, Sep 17). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/road-traffic-accidents/

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