ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Safe school travel is no accident! - Applying the Haddon Matrix to school transport safety

Edmonston, Colin J., Sheehan, Mary

School Safety


Given the high value placed on a child?s life, safe school travel remains a priority issue for the Australian public and Government.

Research objectives: This paper specifically documents the six-month work plan and multifaceted inquiry process adopted by the School Transport Safety Task Force in an attempt to review and provide recommendations to improve school transport safety in Queensland. Methods and data sources. Based on a review of current policy, practice and research in relation to school transport safety (stage 1) and extensive consultation with community groups (stage 2) and road safety professionals (stage 3), the Task Force acknowledged the need to confront risk-management and examine school transport safety in a systematic fashion.

Results and discussion: In response, a research tool conceptualising the diverse range of school transport safety issues and strategies in an expanded Haddon Matrix framework was developed. The systematic structure of the 'School Transport Safety Matrix', in particular the 'socioeconomic environment' component, ensures the problem is examined in context and that feasibility and logistical concerns expressed by professionals in the field (eg. QT and QPS policy and legislative limitations, organisational culture of the bus industry, resource allocation decision-making processes, other facilitators and barriers to change) are given due consideration when prioritising recommendations.