Barns säkra tillgänglighet till skolan
Children are an exposed group in traffic as unprotected road-users. The history of traffic education and how children were looked upon in steering documents of traffic planning shows how the view of children and the traffic system from authorities and organizations have changed over time.
This report describes contemporary research about children and traffic. There are four different ways for children to travel to school: by foot, by bicycle, by school transport and in their parents cars.
Today children are a prioritized customer group of The National Road Administration. The letter of appropriations for The National Road Administration states "The proportion of children who themselves can use the road to school shall increase". We need a method to describe children's possibility to use the transport systems.
Today we have no standardized method of measuring accessibility in the transport systems for pedestrians and cyclists. In this report the TVISS-method (Condition of Accessibility in Swedish towns), which deals with children's school roads, is used. This method is developed by Chalmers University of Technology. In the TVISS-method footpaths and bicycle paths are surveyed respecting characteristics of quality, important to children, older and disabled persons, and are digitalized in a GIS-program (Geographic Information System). After that a lot of analyses can be performed, for example examining children's roads to school. This report studies children between 7 and 12 years, and the road qualities that are important for these children's accessibility in seven towns: Helsingborg, Umeå, Luleå, Falun, Trelleborg, Alingsås and Säffle.
The analyses show that in the seven towns, one child in five has a safe and accessible school road in average. There is a big difference in this respect between the seven towns. One of the reasons that very few children have a safe and accessible school road is that most school roads are very fragmented. Safe crossroads form the most important quality to make the school safely accessible for children.
Only two percent of children's accidents by foot or bicycle occur on roads that TVISS would grade as safe for pedestrians and cyclists, according to an analysis of STRADA (Swedish Traffic Accident Data Acquisition). Even if obvious relationships are difficult to find, it seems that the conditions of accessibility in TVISS give a functional measurement of accessibility.
Keywords: Accessibility, children, traffic safety, GIS, pedestrian, bicyclist, school road