Streets around schools should be made safer for pedestrians and cyclists to encourage active and safe mobility among children, while curriculums should include lessons on moving around safely and sustainably, according to a new report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV) and Fundación MAPFRE.
The authors say real and perceived safety profoundly affects modal choice, especially in relation to walking and cycling, the most sustainable modes of travel. Safety fears are a major barrier to the uptake of cycling, while conversely, a modal shift away from private motor vehicles could significantly improve road safety in dense urban areas. Moreover, getting children and youngsters out of cars and onto bikes will make them healthier and live longer.
But a modal shift from car use to walking and cycling risks an increase in road deaths and injuries. Therefore, the key to healthier lives that combine with safer roads is to encourage more walking and cycling at the same time as introducing new measures to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
The new LEARN! Flash report focuses on how education on traffic safety and sustainable mobility can be linked and supported to ensure that children receive high-quality education that teaches them to move around safely and sustainably.
The report also examines how schools, parents and municipalities can promote safe and sustainable mobility outside of formal education. For example, by working towards measures such as school streets and 30km/h zones near the school that would improve real and perceived safety. Or by organising “bike buses” instead of using motorised transport to travel to and from school.
The full report “LEARN! Flash 3: Linking Education on Sustainable Mobility with Traffic Safety” can be downloaded from the ETSC website here, or from the LEARN! project website here: www.trafficsafetyeducation.eu/flashes/
The report is published as part of the LEARN! (Leveraging Education to Advance Road safety Now) project, by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV) and Fundación MAPFRE, and aims to improve the quality of traffic safety and mobility education across Europe. More information on the project is available at: www.trafficsafetyeducation.eu
The picture used above is from the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV).