Theoretical and empirical foundations of effective road safety interventions aimed at children aged 5-12 years

[Speaker] Thomson, James A:1
1:University of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)

Psychological research shows that the development of pedestrian traffic skills is a long and challenging process for children. The classroom based education that most children receive makes little impression on their roadside behaviour and children typically do not approach adult levels of competence until around 12 years of age. However, more recent interventions focusing directly on behaviour using practical training methods have proved much more successful. Traffic skills that have been improved in this way include identifying roadside dangers; crossing at parked vehicles, intersections and designated crossings; choosing safe gaps in traffic flow; and reading the intentions of other road users. Such training has led to substantial and relatively robust improvements in children as young as five years. This paper will review the empirical evidence and theoretical foundations underpinning such interventions and explore the potential of coaching, peer tutoring and peer collaboration to further enhance children's traffic skills and behaviour.
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