Here is a toolkit that will help improve safety of children to and from school

By Road Safety Hub reporter

A guide that will help road safety institutions and governments formulate interventions to improve safety of children to and from school has been launched.

The Toolkit for Child Health and Mobility for Africa combines interventions including infrastructure design, funding and advocacy.

The toolkit, as explained on Child Mobility website, has been developed for local and national governments, road safety practitioners, and citizens as a guide to the planning, design, and implementation of interventions to improve mobility of children.

The toolkit was jointly developed by the University of Cape Town and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) with support from the UN Environment Share the Road program and FIA Foundation.

According to WHO, 186 300 children die each year from road traffic crashes around the world – that’s more than 500 children every day.

Traffic injury

Road traffic injury ranks among the top four causes of death for all children over the age of five years.

The toolkit includes a planning process, which is key as it helps users identify and assess needs of children in the community so that they can come up with interventions that will address unique problems.

The process also includes assessing the ability of institutions to address challenges facing children and develop effective solutions, strengthen skills and how the organization engages with the public.

Another aspect is on financing models that will help integrate children health and mobility into planning. This is because most cities have not prioritised children in their planning and designs.

“Dedicated funding streams that explicitly prioritise the needs of children are urgently needed. Innovative funding methods, including crowdfunding and other community financing options, can raise money for sustainable mobility initiatives,” the website states.

The toolkit itself provides a list of interventions including best practices. Here is a breakdown of what the toolkit contains:


This involves educating children on safety on the streets to avoid death and injuries. This includes teaching them to obey road markings and street signs, safe use of public transport and following safe walking and cycling practices


Different sets of strategies can be used to ensure safe driving. This is by ensuring that the roads encourage safe behavior and includes culture, self-enforcement, and design.

The most effective way to ensure safe driving is to develop self-explaining, self-enforcing roads.

Such roads incorporate geometric elements that discourage high speeds, such as narrow lanes, narrow shoulders, chicanes, and sharp turning radii.

These road designs ensure that little additional enforcement is required. Additional interventions include speed limits and helmet laws.

Policies and Legislation

Children are among vulnerable road users therefore it is critical to put in place policies that allows them safe access to their destinations.

The policies should address the physical mobility environment, encourage use of sustainable modes of transport, such as walking, cycling, and public transport.

Another measure is to regulate air and noise pollution from transport so that vulnerable populations are appropriately protected.

Street Design

To address safe mobility for children, street designs that make walking and cycling to school safer and more accessible for all is critical.

Such street designs should be designed to encourage safe movement and social interaction for children.

Child-friendly streets take into account their limited range, slower speeds, limited visibility, and unpredictable behaviour. This may entail shorter block lengths, shorter pedestrian crossings, and better sight lines at intersections. 

Encouragement and advocacy

Encouragement and advocacy play major roles in establishing a positive perspective for children’s health and mobility in Africa. Encouragement and advocacy play major roles in raising public awareness and buy-in.