Background Since 2002 each Austrian primary school can develop a school route map with the help of traffic experts. The purpose is to inform parents and students of traffic conditions around the school and the safest walking routes. Today about 300 maps are existing. An evaluation should show, if they are successfully in use.
Methods Altogether four opinion surveys took place. Next to oral interviews with experts (n = 11) parents of children going to a school with a school route map (n = 2.560) as well as headmasters of such schools (n = 31) were questioned in writing. Further an online survey among headmasters of schools without a map (n = 480) was conducted. An additional accident analysis should show, if the maps have an impact on commuting accidents.
Results Experts recorded (con)structural upgrades in the course of the generation of a school route map and claimed the maps to be of help in road safety education. 65% of the questioned parents indicated that they got the map at start of school, although every year one pupil should get one, and only 10% really used it. To improve the usage they recommended handing out the plan already in Kindergarten. In contrast, about 70% of the headmasters of schools with school route maps stated that the map is used in road safety education. They saw the major problem in the annual reprint. Of the schools without a map 86% didn’t know such maps are existing and about 50% declared that they would be interested. The accident analysis revealed no significant changes in the accident rate as well as in the casualties since the introduction of school route maps.
Conclusions Regarding the accident rate no success of Austrian school route maps could be proven. However, experts and headmasters stated positive experiences. Overall seemed to be room for improvement. One of the first steps would be to make school route maps more known, and to hand them out to parents of year one pupils earlier and yearly (e.g. on school registration day).
- traffic safety
- school route map