Exploring differential trends in severe and fatal child pedestrian injury in New South Wales, Australia (1997-2006)


The study explores trends in severe and fatal child pedestrian injuries in New South Wales (NSW), over the 10-year period 1997-2006, in comparison to adults and for various subgroups. Data on pedestrian injury (reported as fatalities or hospitalisations) were obtained from the Traffic Accident Database System (TADS; Roads and Traffic Authority of New South Wales) which captures road traffic events reported to police, and from the NSW Admitted Patients Data Collection (APDC) which captures all hospital inpatient separations. Annual percentage changes in injury counts and rates were compared using Poisson regression. A substantial drop in the pedestrian injury rate was observed; however, the rate of decline was steeper for children (aged less than 15 years) than for adults. The drop in child pedestrian injury was manifest in both the police report data and the hospital admission data. The annual percentage decrease was significantly greater for boys than for girls, and the three major urban centres compared with elsewhere in the state. No differences were detected in the annual rate decrease between school days and non-school days (a proxy for safe school zones), or between different road types (a proxy for restricted speed limits). Past research suggests that injury rate reductions are not solely due to decreased exposure. There remains, however, limited data on the extent of pedestrian mobility. Differences in relative reduction in pedestrian injury rates suggest a differential benefit arising from road safety initiatives. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Accident Analysis and Prevention