This article examines the impact walking school buses (WSB) programs have on pedestrian safety behaviors (PSB). Using a randomized controlled trial, this pilot study tested the feasibility of a research protocol measuring children’s pedestrian safety behaviors.
Low-income 4th grade elementary students from eight Houston, TX schools were participants in WSB programs. Study staff walked the participants to and from school up to five days a week, modeling pedestrian safety behaviors, including: crossing at a corner or crosswalk; crossing with an adult or safety patrol; stopping at the curb; looking left-right-left; and walking, not running, across the street. All participants were unobtrusively observed throughout their walks during Time 1 (weeks 1-3) and Time 2 (weeks 4-5).
- Child pedestrians at intervention schools had five-fold higher odds of crossing at the corner or crosswalk than those at control schools.
- Child pedestrians at interventions schools had five-fold lower odds of stopping at the curb versus control schools.
- Neighborhood disorder and number of traffic lanes were not significantly associated with pedestrian safety outcomes.
Individual-level longitudinal tracking is needed to better understand the contribution of WSB programs. The unanticipated decrease in child pedestrians stopping at the curb may be due to the dynamics of a WSB; these programs may require additional modifications to most improve children’s PSB.
- 1. The Impact of State Safe Routes to School-Related Laws on Active Travel to School Policies and Practices in U.S. Elementary Schools
- 2. Program Practices and Demographic Factors Associated with Federal Funding for the Safe Routes to School Program in the United States
- 3. Impact of a Pilot Walking School Bus Intervention on Children's Pedestrian Safety Behaviors
- 4. School Sport Policy and School-Based Physical Activity Environments and Their Association with Observed Physical Activity in Middle School Children
- 5. Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of Family Fitness Zones
- 6. A Study of Community Design, Greenness, and Physical Activity in Children Using Satellite, GPS and Accelerometer Data
- 7. Out and About
- 8. Neighborhood Factors Influence Physical Activity Among African American and Hispanic or Latina Women
- 9. Hispanic Maternal and Children's Perceptions of Neighborhood Safety Related to Walking and Cycling
- 10. Investigating the Impact of a Smart Growth Community on the Contexts of Children's Physical Activity Using Ecological Momentary Assessment
- 11. Page Avenue Health Impact Assessment
- 12. Exploring Walking Differences by Socioeconomic Status Using a Spatial Agent-Based Model