Safe Route Planning

Safe Route Planning

How Effective?

Almost all substantiated safe route planning interventions relate to children and education around safe crossing behaviour.

Educational training increases skills relating to identifying safe places to cross. Kerbcraft pilot projects in England and Scotland targeted 5 to 7 year old children using roadside sessions. Statistically significant behavioural improvements were found.

(K. Whelan et al., 2008)

A study showed significant improvements in safe route planning once 5 to 8 year olds had been ‘coached’ by their parents, who were in receipt of a free booklet on child road safety.

(S. Wood et al., 2003)

Safe place training may be delivered by computer in classroom sessions. This was found to double the number of safe judgements made by 8 to 10 year olds in the roadside environment.However, computer based training had little effect on the younger age group (six year olds) who were also studied.

(DfT, 2002)

Having parents administer training to children in small groups has proved effective, and is thought to be a cost effective option. Classroom or computer administered training for children can realise similar improvements to practical roadside training.

(J. Thomson, 1997)

Gaps in the research

There is poor understanding of the interventions associated with the Safe Routes To School programme and their effect in the field. Few studies have actually evidenced the benefits of these casualty reduction measures. Hence many of the safety benefits remain anecdotal or anticipated rather than proven. Safe Routes to Schools are applied locally, in response to local environmental factors. However, there is poor understanding of the benefits of a particular blend of safety measures, i.e. whether certain safety measures are more effective used together or distinctly.

(E. Dumbaugh and L. Frank, 2007)

Safe route planning interventions tend to be focussed in two specific areas: educating children regarding safe routes across the road, and adult wayfinding with a primary objective of mobility. There appears to be a gap in the research relating to adult pedestrians and selecting safe routes.

Where wayfinding has been implemented it would be beneficial to run a long term spatial RTI study to discover how the relationship of pedestrian RTIs is affected by wayfinding provision.

Much of the work around safe route planning is focussed on urban or suburban areas. There is a gap in the knowledge surrounding safe route planning provision and behaviour in rural areas where infrastructure and destinations are fundamentally different.

The main challenge of safe route planning is linking causation to casualty figures. This in turn makes it difficult to analyse the effectiveness of interventions. A local approach may be the most effective starting point in building robust statistical links and appreciating what works.


  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:18 AM
  • Last Update: 27 Jan 2017, 04:59 PM