Background Road traffic injury is the leading cause of death for children in Canada. Lower speed roads are correlated with lower pedestrian injury severity. Pedestrians are 8 times more likely to die after being struck by a motor vehicle going 50 km/h compared with 30 km/h. Few studies have examined the effect of speed limit reductions on vulnerable road users such as bicyclists or pedestrians. Given the recent increase in the number of pedestrian motor vehicle collisions (PMVC) in Toronto, it is important to describe the effectiveness of interventions such as speed limit reductions.
Objective To examine the effect of lowering residential speed limits to 30 km/h on police reported child PMVCs in Toronto, Canada between 2014 and 2018.
Methods We will investigate the influence of implementing 30 km/h speed limits on 387 km of residential streets that occurred in January 2015. We will calculate the number of police reported child PMVC per km per month along these streets for two years before and two years after the speed limit change. We will use comparator streets with a constant 40 or 50 km/h limit to isolate the effect of the intervention from that of secular trends, controlling for other built environment characteristics (e.g., speed humps, pedestrian crossovers).
Expected findings We hypothesize that the rate of PMVC will decrease after the implementation of 30 km/h speed limits.
pedestrian safety, including speed limit reductions. It is important to evaluate and quantify the effect of these changes on child pedestrian injury rates.
Policy implications Results may provide evidence to support the implementation of speed reductions to make our roads safer.
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