Effectiveness of a Safe Routes to School Program in Preventing School-Aged Pedestrian Injury

Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 01/2013; 131(2). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-2182
Source: PubMed


In 2005, the US Congress allocated $612 million for a national Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program to encourage walking and bicycling to schools. We analyzed motor vehicle crash data to assess the effectiveness of SRTS interventions in reducing school-aged pedestrian injury in New York City.

Using geocoded motor vehicle crash data for 168 806 pedestrian injuries in New York City between 2001 and 2010, annual pedestrian injury rates per 10 000 population were calculated for different age groups and for census tracts with and without SRTS interventions during school-travel hours (defined as 7 am to 9 am and 2 pm to 4 pm, Monday through Friday during September through June).

During the study period, the annual rate of pedestrian injury decreased 33% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 30 to 36) among school-aged children (5- to 19-year-olds) and 14% (95% CI: 12 to 16) in other age groups. The annual rate of school-aged pedestrian injury during school-travel hours decreased 44% (95% CI: 17 to 65) from 8.0 injuries per 10 000 population in the preintervention period (2001-2008) to 4.4 injuries per 10 000 population in the postintervention period (2009-2010) in census tracts with SRTS interventions. The rate remained virtually unchanged in census tracts without SRTS interventions (0% [95% CI: -8 to 8]).

Implementation of the SRTS program in New York City has contributed to a marked reduction in pedestrian injury in school-aged children.

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Available from: Guohua Li, May 13, 2014
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    • "Road traffic safety measures Dimaggio et al. 2013 New York City, USA 2001–2010 To analyse motor vehicle crash data to assess the effectiveness of Safe Routes To School interventions in reducing school-aged pedestrian injury Observational study of quasi-experimental pre-post evaluation design with a comparison group (30 intervention sites and 1347 comparison groups) "
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    • "Our primary intention in this paper was to precisely estimate the point at which declines in school-age, school-travel pedestrian injury in SRTS areas are likely to have occurred, and to estimate the change in risk based on this more precise estimate. A previous analysis of these data similarly demonstrated the association of SRTS interventions with decreased pediatric pedestrian injury risk, but one could reasonably interpret the time series as indicating changes prior to the implementation of interventions (DiMaggio & Li 2013). The current analysis indicates the change was very likely to have occurred at or about the time SRTS interventions were implemented, and was associated with meaningful, though in this analysis not statistically significant, decreases in risk. "
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