The Safe School Zones initiative guides Safe Kids coalitions in the U.S. in identifying locations in need of pedestrian safety improvement and selecting, implementing and evaluating appropriate countermeasures to improve child pedestrian safety. This presentation will share successes and lessons learned from six years of grant-funded projects, including new research on long-term safety outcomes to understand the lasting impact on safety, active transportation, and other relevant outcomes. Presenters will demonstrate how community grants are used to establish community task-forces comprised of key pedestrian safety stakeholders to make needed improvements for enhancing safety. Safe Kids coalitions were provided with a two-day workshop led by international experts in pedestrian safety. The workshop brought together stakeholders to identify locations at greatest need of improvements, as well as countermeasures to enhance safety. Projects were comprehensive in approach, involving engineering, education, and enforcement solutions. Several of the grant projects have been evaluated based on field observations of pedestrian behavior collected before and after implementation, along with speed and crash data. Overall, participants in the workshops have indicated they have more knowledge in the pedestrian safety area, which can be applied to other projects. Site evaluations have demonstrated improvements in pedestrian and motor vehicle compliance with yielding laws, increases in pedestrian activity, reduced turning conflicts, reduced speeds, and safer walking behaviors among pedestrians. This project has also addressed economic and social justice issues by creating change in areas in most need for pedestrian safety projects. One of the key benefits to the Safe School Zones initiative is the multidisciplinary approach working to improve child pedestrian safety in communities. This model leverages a variety of perspectives and professions, which provides a valuable example to others who may approach pedestrian safety with a more limited scope.
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