Crossing guard presence: Impact on active transportation and injury prevention

Carolina Marinovic Gutierrez, Derek Slagle, Kristian Figueras, Anabel Anon, Anne Corinne Huggins, Gillian Hotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evaluation of increased crossing guard presence on the likelihood children using safe active transportation (AT) was conducted during the simultaneous hiring of multiple crossing guards. The primary study aim was to determine if increased crossing guard presence was associated with (1) an increased number of children walking/biking to school, (2) diminished parental safety concerns, (3) an increased likelihood of parents allowing their child to walk/bike to school, and (4) an increased number of children utilizing supervised routes. A quasi-experimental study design was conducted at study intersections in experimental and control schools (matched by neighborhood, rate for risk of pedestrian injury, and socio-economic status). Only experimental schools received awareness campaigns and a newly positioned crossing guard. Measurements taken pre/post-guard placement assessed trends of AT rates among the school's population, and Parent Surveys were utilized to determine if crossing guard presence changed parental attitudes toward AT and/or perceptions of safety. Pre/post-program implementation evaluation did not reveal significant changes in trends of AT; parental safety concerns; parental attitudes towards AT. Though experimental schools showed fluctuations in travel trends, no indication of either improvement or worsening of attitudes was found. Significant (noticeable) differences in pre/post-program implementation were identified in the fourth study aim, the number of children utilizing supervised routes vs. unsupervised routes. Also the control school showed no discernible changes from pre to post-program implementation. Study findings demonstrate that increased crossing guard presence is most likely to influence safe behavior as indicated by the increased numbers of children engaging in predictable pedestrian behaviors through their use of supervised routes. Results suggest a prioritization towards engaging in and acknowledging safety before physical activity in areas with existing high rates of AT to and from school. Future studies will include longer observation periods, longer interventions, and lower rates of existing AT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-123
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Transport and Health
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Active transportation
  • Crossing guards
  • Injury prevention
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy
  • Transportation

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