Child Road Safety and Poverty Research Project

  • Published: MVA Consultancy prepared for Department of the Environment Northern Ireland (DOENI), 2011
  • Authors: S. Wood, C. Stephenson, N. Christie, E. Towner, J. Colgan and H. Burroughs
  • Date Added: 15 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 12 Feb 2016
  • Format: pdf


The objective of this research was to produce a programme of measures which aim to reduce RTIs involving children in deprived areas of Northern Ireland.


  • Reviewed the international evidence for evaluated interventions and approaches that aimed to tackle the link between child road casualties and deprivation (sources included academic, government and non-government organisation databases and web sites);
  • Identified strategic approaches from government departments responsible for road safety in both GB and Ireland and assessed the implications for road safety in Northern Ireland; and,
  • Engaged with stakeholders responsible for the delivery of measures, identified in the Road Safety Strategy for Northern Ireland to 2020, to seek views on the relevance of each measure for dealing with deprivation and child road casualties.

Key Findings:

  • The casualty rate analyses show statistically significant positive correlation between casualty rates and deprivation level. The data shows that a child pedestrian or cyclist is five times more likely to be injured in the most deprived areas of Northern Ireland than in the least deprived areas.

  • There is strong correlation between Multiple Deprivation Measure (MDM) based on collision location and MDM of home. The correlation is particularly strong for pedestrian and cyclist casualties which often occur close to home.

  • Education measures that include a ‘life course’ approach to education, working with parents and teachers to offer progressive, interactive education and training, using the Traffic Club (for 3-4 year olds) and Kerbcraft (practical roadside training for 5-7 year olds) models of delivery are likely to be effective in increasing pedestrian skill.

  • Environmental change, such as area wide traffic calming; 20 mph zones and safe routes to school supported by engineering measures may have a role to play as long as implementation involves the community.

  • Enforcement is needed to address the risks posed by antisocial behaviour of drivers and riders, especially targeting male drivers and riders aged 17-20 years old and 31-40 years old and at times when children play and travel.

  • Interventions are likely to be more successful in disadvantaged areas if they include comprehensive approaches (i.e. a range of different measures), involve the community, are tailored to the characteristics of the community and use local data both to understand travel patterns and risk, and in the evaluation.


Child road safety, Interventions, Evaluation, Recommendations


Robust, review of good practice.