Designing a safe residential environment for children

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Eddy C Westdijk

This paper discusses how to keep children safe from traffic accidents in residential areas. It notes that 90% of accidents involving children on foot or on bicycles occur within built-up areas. Due to concern about children's vulnerability to road accidents, many parents transport their children to and from their destination in cars. Despite this parental transportation and guidance service, some 50 children up to 14 years of age die in The Netherlands in traffic accidents each year. Deficiencies in road safety result in children being less independently mobile, and retarded in social, emotional and locomotion development. The paper describes traffic arrangements that take account of children, special features of children, traffic education programs, recommendations for neighborhood and street design, and how the design process can be collaborative and encourage public participation.

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