Background In the mega city like Mumbai, there is need to do a scalable, sustainable and cost effective projects in communities to address road safety is a must. Model school zone project is a part of Walk This Way, pedestrian safety program that was implemented at St. Joseph High School Mumbai, to create safer environment for 2,200 children. Evaluating the school zone and implementing interventions was primary goal of this project.
Method The project was carried out in 3 phases.
Phase I-Gathering statistics and information on accidents from various sources like hospitals, police, traffic & transport department. 46 stakeholders like road safety experts, engineers, policy makers, parents, teachers, community members, reearch agencies and 178 students were involved in the project. The tools used were school zone assessment, parents’ survey, walkability checklist for students, photovoice- children’s perspective on road safety, where 10 children were involved, students knowledge and awareness assessment study was also conducted.
Phase II-Interventions – zebra crossing was painted near the school, signanges like school ahead were installed, usage of different school gates, widening of footpaths, fencing the footpath near the school.
Phase III-The reaserch was repeated to study the impact after the interventions. Conducted the post intervention assessment. Interpreted assessment findings.
Results Permanent road infrastructure modifications were carried out. School authorities made modifications in the premises and survey showed behavioural changes amongst children and parents. All worked togther as a cohesive team and showed results.
Conclusions This pilot study served as model to other schools, governments and organisations working to improve road safety. The project identified areas at risk, brought in behavioural changes, thus effectivenes of the interventions. This project can be effective and adapted for benefit of children globally.
- Road safety
- Children and Safety
- Model School Zone
- Safer Environment