ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Older pedestrians: Moving from a high recognition of problems to an effective local response

Couch, Murray, McCutcheon, Anne, Cirocco, Bill

Pedestrian Safety


This paper reports on the evaluation of a VicRoads-designed intervention - Walk With Care, targeted at older pedestrians in a local government area. TransportSA and the Council jointly implemented the project - a public awareness campaign, an educational intervention, and identification of needs for engineering treatments. The evaluation included a pre-implementation survey among the target population (65 years and over), concerning pedestrian safety issues for older pedestrians in the implementation council area (n=100) and in two comparative councils (2 x n=100). A post-implementation survey (n=200) was conducted in the implementation area. The methodology also included semi-structured stakeholder interviews. The evaluation indicated that while there was not a high recognition of the specific program, older people consistently regard pedestrian issues very seriously, and recognise and describe them with highly specific local detail. This evaluation demonstrates the need for addressing particular issues in successfully converting high levels of public concern about pedestrian issues into an effective intervention embedded in a particular locality. These include managing competing expectations among stakeholders, avoiding the possibility that the intervention is seen as ?patronising?, and making strategic alliances with local health promotion and educational activities for older people. There is also a need to disaggregate the notion of ?older pedestrian? in providing flexible and appropriate responses.