Area-wide urban traffic calming schemes: a meta-analysis of safety effects

Accid Anal Prev. 2001 May;33(3):327-36. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(00)00046-4.


This paper presents a meta-analysis of 33 studies that have evaluated the effects on road safety of area-wide urban traffic calming schemes. Area-wide urban traffic calming schemes are typically implemented in residential areas in towns in order to reduce the environmental and safety problems caused by road traffic. A hierarchical road system is established and through traffic is removed from residential streets by means of, for example, street closures or one-way systems. Speed reducing devices are often installed in residential streets. Main roads are improved in order to carry a larger traffic volume without additional delays or more accidents. The meta-analysis shows that area-wide urban traffic calming schemes on the average reduce the number of injury accidents by about 15%. The largest reduction in the number of accidents is found for residential streets (about 25%), a somewhat smaller reduction is found for main roads (about 10%). Similar reductions are found in the number of property damage only accidents. The results of evaluation studies are robust with respect to study design. There is no evidence of publication bias in evaluation studies. Study findings are found to have high external validity.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Australia
  • City Planning*
  • Europe
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Urban Population*