Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of the WalkSafe program, an elementary school-based pedestrian safety program in a single high-risk district in Miami-Dade County. Methods: Sixteen elementary schools were identified in a single high-risk district and enrolled in a one-year study. All schools implemented the WalkSafe program on the last week of January 2003. A pre, post, and three-month post testing of pedestrian safety knowledge was conducted. An observational component was also implemented at four schools that were randomly chosen. Engineering recommendations and law enforcement initiatives were also performed. Results: A total of 6467 children from K-5th grade from 16 elementary schools participated in the program. Of these 5762 tests were collected over three different testing times. A significant difference (p-value < 0.001) was found between the pre and post testing conditions across all grade levels. There was no significant difference found between the post and three-month post testing conditions across all grade levels (p-value > 0.05). The observational data collected at four schools across the different testing times demonstrated a significant difference found between pre and post testing conditions for Group A (stop at the curb and look left, right, left) and also for Group B (midstreet crossing and darting out) (p-value < 0.05). There was no difference found between comparing the pre-test or post-test condition with the three-month post-test time. There were many environmental modifications that were recommended and actually performed. Conclusion: The WalkSafe program implemented in a single high-risk district was shown to improve the pedestrian safety knowledge of elementary school children. The observational data demonstrated improved crossing behaviors from pre-test to post-testing conditions. Future research will focus on sustaining the program in this district and expanding the program throughout our county.
- Road safety
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety Research
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health