Bringing children into the social contract of road use

  • Published: Department for Transport, 2003
  • Authors: S. Wood, S. Thornton, E. Arundell and L. Graupner
  • Date Added: 28 Jan 2013
  • Last Update: 28 Jan 2013
  • Format: pdf


To develop and then evaluate the effectiveness of a booklet for parents, which aimed to help them to improve their children’s road safety.


 In-situ pilot studies were carried out before and after with a control group included. A safety booklet was produced and large scale surveys were made of recipients to look for evidence of improvements.

Key Findings:

  • Children aged 5 to 8 were consistently better at selecting when to cross, than selecting where to cross. Planning a route and understanding dangerous crossings were less well understood.

  • Performance across all aspects of the study (including planning a route) improved for children in the after study. Improvements were most significant in the youngest children.

  • Administration of road safety advice via parents was therefore seen to positively influence the safety of children, including route planning tasks. Parents were typically highly supportive of the approach.

Themes: children, behaviour, social interaction, parental advice


A study notable for the social method of intervention, which utilises parents to instil and exhibit good behaviours.