Development of a model for improving safety in school zones
Child pedestrians are some of our most vulnerable road users and Governments spend large amounts of
money providing s afe infrastructure to protect them. The NSW Roads and Traffic Authority’s Centre for
Road Safety (CRS) recognised that a systematic needs-based allocation system for infrastructure funding
could assist the prioritising and selection process for school zone safety remedial measures, and engaged
ARRB to assist in the development of a research model to support this approach.
Literature on child-related and school zone factors contributing to crashes including child pedestrian
casualty crash data in NSW was reviewed. Crash data from the NSW Crashlink database and the Safety
Around Schools database was analysed. In consultation with the CRS, ARRB then developed a risk
model to objectively prioritise school zone road environments in terms of risk to young pedestrians. The
model factors were: approach speed limit, peak hour pedestrian crossing volume and AADT, number of
traffic lanes, on-street parking configuration, sight distance, the number of conflicting directions o f
traffic, speed management and pedestrian management schemes. The CRS used the SchoolRisk model to
fi rstly identify and then prioritise school zones to assist their decision making for the allocation o f
funding for flashing lights on school speed limit signs.