Crossing safely

News AASHTO Journal October 16, 2002
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Improvements in traffic safety and a reduction in the number of children walking to school resulted in less children pedestrian

Improvements in traffic safety and a reduction in the number of children walking to school resulted in less children pedestrian fatalities during the 1990s, the National Safe Kids Campaign reported.


In 2000, 475 pedestrians under the age of 15 were killed while walking public roadways compared to 861 in 1990. The campaign's research into the reasons for the change concluded that parents were driving their kids to school, or putting them on buses, more frequently due to concerns about safety and walking long distances.


Heather Paul, executive director of the group, said it's important to make the streets safer for walking children rather than relying on putting them in vehicles as the way to protect them from pedestrian-related harm. "Obesity numbers are growing, and part of it is based on sedentary trends for children," she said.


But she added improved traffic safety--including more use of crossing guards and flashing lights and increased ticketing of speeders--also contributed to the drop in deaths.


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