The behaviour of child pedestrians travelling to and from Darwin primary schools

  • Cecilia Joy Batterham

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    This thesis addresses children's pedestrian behaviour, in particular road crossing behaviour. The Child Pedestrian Safety Model, developed using the epidemiological triad, that is agent, environmental and host factors, provided the framework for the research. Subjects were Darwin primary school children who in 1994 were or were not exposed to the road safety education program Out and About. The study involved observing child pedestrians over three observation sessions. A total of 3174 subjects were observed of whom 1827 crossed a road. Children's pedestrian behaviour was obtained unobtrusively utilising videotaping. In addition to frequencies, percentages, and Crosstabs, Pearson's Chi-Square and Fisher's Exact Tests were undertaken to obtain significance levels for nominal data. Logistic regression analysis was undertaken to measure the level of association between variables. Of the nine road crossing behavioural elements, subjects' level of compliance was 98-99% to three elements, 80-90% to another three and less than 55% to the remaining three. The elements to which a higher proportion of subjects attained a low compliance score were: subject stopped at kerbside prior to crossing the road, appeared to observe for approaching traffic prior to crossing the road, and appeared to monitor traffic whilst crossing road. At the first observation session, it was identified that being female, and crossing the road during the Wet season, in the morning and on Monday to Thursday were associated with high compliance to crossing behaviours. A higher proportion of unaccompanied children was associated with high compliance to monitoring behaviours. It was found that the Out and About road safety program as an agent factor variable had a statistically significant effect on experimental subjects' overall crossing behaviours compared to that of control subjects. The education program had no statistically significant effect on experimental subjects' host factor variables, that is, age group and gender. In the fonnat in which it was delivered, overall the Out and About program had virtually no demonstrable effect on children's road crossing behaviour. Furthennore, the findings suggest that Darwin primary school children do not understand the relevance of the specific elements associated with safe pedestrian road crossing behaviour. Nineteen recommendations emanate from the research findings.
    Date of AwardApr 2002
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorKathryn Roberts (Supervisor)

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