Effects of a traffic club on road safety knowledge and self-reported behaviour of young children and their parents

Accid Anal Prev. 1993 Oct;25(5):609-18. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(93)90012-l.


Children in seven counties in eastern England and in six counties in a control region were interviewed just prior to the start of the introduction of a major traffic club scheme. Similar interviews were carried out in the experimental and control regions one year later. The traffic club increased the extent to which parents attempted to teach road safety to their children. In addition, the proportion of children who were said by parents to run ahead was reduced in the experimental compared with the control region after one year of traffic club operation. However, there was no evidence that parents exerted closer supervision of their children's behaviour in the streets. Children from nonmanual socioeconomic backgrounds did considerably better than those from manual backgrounds in terms of knowledge of road safety and were less likely to be left to play or ride bikes unsupervised in the streets. Male children were more knowledgeable about road safety, but were more likely to engage in potentially dangerous behaviour when out than were female children. The results showed that the traffic club scheme in its first year of operation had some impact of the behaviour of its target group but probably did not affect parental supervision. To inform the development of future schemes of this kind, it may be necessary to find out more about why many parents exert limited supervision of very young children in the streets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Automobile Driving*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • England
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organizations*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Risk-Taking
  • Safety*