200042 Environmental Task Forces: Modifying Environments to Improve Pedestrian Safety for Children

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sally Williams, MPH , Safe Kids Worldwide, Safe Kids USA, Washington, DC
Each year in the United States, more than 630 children are killed as pedestrians as a result of motor vehicle crashes. In addition, more than 37,000 children were treated in emergency rooms in 2007 for pedestrian- related injuries. Interventions such as crossing guards, speed enforcement campaigns and education have helped to reduce child pedestrian injuries and fatalities, however long term environmental modifications of areas where children walk are critical to the reduction of injuries and fatalities.

Safe Kids USA launched Safe Kids Walk This Way, a program that addresses child pedestrian death and injury at the behavioral and environmental levels. Environmental Task force grants were introduced in 2005 to enable coalitions to make environmental modifications in their communities.

To apply each task force was required to: formulate a needs assessment, plot crash sites on a map , submit a “before” photo of the proposed target area, employ a traffic engineer to determine modifications and develop goals, objectives, work plan, budget and an evaluation plan.

Eleven grants were awarded for the 2008 grant period, allowing Safe Kids USA coalitions to form or advance pedestrian safety task forces that focus on making environmental modifications to improve walking conditions for children. Safe Kids USA selected grant recipients based on the needs of the community, the merits of the completed proposals, and the coalition's capacity to mobilize a productive group to achieve pedestrian safety improvements. Grants were provided in amounts of up to $10,000 to be used during January – December 2008.

Learning Objectives:
Identify environmental modifications to a target location to improve walking conditions for child pedestrians. Evaluate the impact of the resulting environmental modification on child pedestrians in the area. Continue to collect data on the intervention site for two years.

Keywords: Community Development, Children

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have presented at conferences as well as organized and planned for large conferences. I have been involved heavily with the planning process of my organizations annual conference.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.