Keeping Children Safe in Traffic - Just published report from OECD
- Keeping Children Safe in Traffic
Tragically, one child out of every 2100 will die before his or her 15th
birthday in a road-related incident, and even more will suffer severe
injuries or lifelong disabilities. This report provides the latest
statistics on children's injuries and fatalities, outlines progress and
trends in children's traffic safety in OECD countries, and identifies
areas for further improvement. It provides the latest statistics and
makes a series of policy-related recommendations for improving
children's road safety.
In many OECD countries, road-related crashes are the number one killer
of children under the age of 15. Since the last OECD report on
childrens transport safety was published in 1983, an estimated 100,000
children have perished in road-related crashes. Of course, this level of
fatalities is not acceptable.
Considerable advances have been made by most countries, particularly
since 1990. Many of the recommendations from earlier OECD work have been
implemented with the support of Ministers for Transport in OECD and ECMT
(European Conference of Ministers of Transport) countries. In fact, the
number of children killed per annum on the roads in OECD countries was
halved between 1990 and 2000. Nevertheless, at current rates, one child
out of every 2100 will die before their 15th birthday in a road-related
incident, and a considerably higher number will suffer severe injuries
or lifelong disabilities. Many such fatalities would be avoided if all
OECD member countries adopted practices known to be effective in
improving childrens road safety.
This latest version of Keeping Children Safe in Traffic draws on best
practice and research results to show how child casualties can be
reduced whilst at the same time encouraging children to develop into
safe, active and independent road users. It focuses on the contribution
education, training and publicity can make; measures related to the
risks children face in the road environment; vehicle and bicycle
standards; safety equipment and the importance of appropriate
legislation. It outlines the progress that has been made in OECD
countries in the last 20 years. It provides the latest statistics on
childrens injuries, fatalities and trends in transport.
The report considers the relative levels of risks in OECD countries and
the casualty reduction programmes and strategies that can improve
childrens road safety. It identifies practices drawn from OECD member
country experience that have proven to be most effective in improving
childrens road safety. It also outlines possible further improvements
based on research undertaken.
One of the reports conclusions is that, currently, the best-performing
countries have population-based road crash fatality rates for children
that are less than half the OECD average and only a quarter of the rate
in the worst-performing countries. Therefore, there is considerable
potential for improving child road safety in most OECD countries. After
examining the most effective strategies, based on the research
undertaken, the report makes a series of policy-oriented recommendations
for achieving such improvements in childrens road safety.
Keeping Children Safe in Traffic is particularly geared towards policy
makers, transport planners, regulators and strategists as well as road
safety professionals, motorist associations and researchers.
A survey of childrens road traffic safety in OECD countries was
commissioned by the United Kingdoms Department for Transport and
undertaken in 2002 and 2003 to complement and help with the preparation
of this report from the OECDs Child Traffic Safety Expert Group.
Responses to the International Survey were therefore an important input
to this report. Twenty-one of the 30 member countries responded, and
data was supplemented where possible by internationally available data.
The main purpose of this report is to highlight successful programmes
and strategies that could be adopted by OECD countries to improve
childrens safety on the roads and to identify possible further
The executive summary of the report can be downloaded here in English or
German. French version forthcoming. The full report is available for
browsing and purchase on the OECD On-line Bookshop. The French edition
will be published in late 2004.