Inj Prev doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2012-040717
  • Original article

The impact of pedestrian countdown signals on pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions: a reanalysis of data from a quasi-experimental study

  1. Andrew Howard1,5,6,7
  1. 1Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Department of Geography and Programs in Environment, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  6. 6Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  7. 7Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sarah Richmond, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1X8; sarah.richmond{at};
  • Received 29 November 2012
  • Revised 23 July 2013
  • Accepted 28 August 2013
  • Published Online First 23 September 2013


Objective To perform a more sophisticated analysis of previously published data that advances the understanding of the efficacy of pedestrian countdown signal (PCS) installation on pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions (PMVCs), in the city of Toronto, Canada.

Methods This is an updated analysis of the same dataset from Camden et al. A quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the effect of PCS on PMVC. A Poisson regression analysis, using a one-group comparison of PMVC, pre-PCS installation to post-PCS installation was used, controlling for season and temporal effects. The outcome was the frequency of reported PMVC (January 2000–December 2009). Similar models were used to analyse specific types of collisions defined by age of pedestrian, injury severity, and pedestrian and vehicle action. Incidence rate ratios with 95% CI are presented.

Results This analysis included 9262 PMVC, 2760 during or after PCS installation, at 1965 intersections. There was a 26% increase in the rate of collisions, pre to post-PCS installation (incidence rate ratio=1.26, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.42).

Conclusions The installation of PCS at 1965 signalised intersections in the city of Toronto resulted in an increase in PMVC rates post-PCS installation. PCSs may have an unintended consequence of increasing pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions in some settings.

Free sample
This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of Injury Prevention.
View free sample issue >>

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.

Navigate This Article