Research Papers

Adult and child pedestrian road crossing behaviours during morning school drop-off time across Canadian urban/suburban areas

Version 1
Date added June 18, 2019
Downloaded 0 times/fois
Category 2019 CARSP XXIX Calgary
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 3C
Author/Auteur Cloutier, Ling, Desrosiers-Gaudette, Hubka, Howard, Macpherson, Fuselli, Winters, Hagel
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation Only:



Background/Context: Morning drop-off at schools can be a busy and chaotic time with many vehicles and pedestrians converging towards the school simultaneously. The environment around schools and traffic congestion has been previously related to risky pedestrian behaviours in the City of Toronto. It is unknown whether these behaviours and environments vary in different urban/suburban areas across Canada. This study presents preliminary findings from the Child Active Transportation Safety in the Environment (CHASE) study.

Aims/Objectives: To examine adult and child pedestrian behaviours around elementary schools during morning school drop-off time and to determine features of the built environment associated with these behaviours across different urban/suburban areas in Canada.

Methods/Targets: Observational data collection was conducted during morning drop-off time at public elementary schools in Toronto (n = 76), Peel Region (Brampton and Mississauga, 71), Montreal (60), Laval (12), Calgary (125), and Vancouver (67). Trained observers completed a checklist for 5 adult and child pedestrian road crossing behaviours and conducted site surveys of the built environment surrounding the schools. Differences in the built environment factors around schools between cities will be evaluated, along with the association to pedestrian behaviours.

Results/Activities: Across schools, the most common issue amongst adults was crossing unsafely at uncontrolled midblock locations (74% of schools), followed by crossing unsafely between parked cars (52%), and using an electronic device (33%). There were few schools where adults were observed not following crossing controls (12% of schools) and crossing guards (4%). This order was consistent for children, although higher proportions of children at schools were seen crossing unsafely at an uncontrolled midblock (80% of schools) and crossing unsafely between parked cars (67%). Similar to adults, few children were observed not following crossing controls at schools (12% of schools) and not following crossing guards (4%). Additionally, fewer children were seen using an electronic device when walking to school than adults (10% of schools).

Although the order of frequent behaviours remained consistent between cities, there were differences in the proportion of schools where the behaviours were observed by city. For example, for adults, unsafe midblock crossings were observed at 85% of schools in Vancouver, 84% in Calgary, 83% in Toronto, but only 61% in Peel, 48% in Montreal and 42% in Laval.

Discussion/Deliverables: Risky pedestrian behaviours were prevalent around schools during morning drop-off time in all urban/suburban areas with crossing unsafely at uncontrolled midblock, and between parked cars, observed at more schools by children than adults. These behaviours may be related to whether or not children were accompanied, which has been examined in other studies. There were differences in the proportions of schools with each of the behaviours for adult and children across locations, which may be related to differences in the built environment and traffic speeds/volumes. It is unknown how these behaviours relate to collision risk.

Conclusions: This is a novel study designed to capture road safety behaviours at school-drop off times, and can inform road safety interventions. Analyses will be conducted to examine differences in built environments around schools between locations, and how this relates to pedestrian behaviours.