Pedestrian, cyclist and motorist behaviour and interactions at school zones
Wong, Zhi Hao
Date of Issue2016-05-18
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Centre for Infrastructure Systems
A fatal traffic accident involving two young boys near a school zone has triggered Singapore’s attempt to improve the road safety levels, and therefore the Enhanced School Zone (ESZ) scheme arose in order to further supplement the existing scheme. As the existing scheme lacked noticeable traffic features, several additional features are thus implemented in the ESZ scheme to remind motorists to exercise extra caution within school zones. However, the situation has yet shown tangible improvement after the ESZ scheme implementations. This research project investigated the effectiveness of the safety levels within several school zones with ESZ schemes using site audits and video observations. Findings have shown that the selected school zones are consistent in providing road safety for the road users as no hazardous behaviour from motorists was observed during observational periods. However, pedestrians/cyclists were observed to be the ones committing risky acts during school peak periods as they have much more flexibility to change their routes often times for the sake of convenience. Recommendations are suggested to further improve the road safety levels within school zones which include both engineering and educational approaches. Educating the road users seem to be the more viable option in the long run. Slight disorderliness in traffic was observed due to the congestions during peak hours. However in the long run, the traffic congestion issue shall improve with the announcement of Singapore’s future transition into a “car-lite” city. In the near future, with the increasing proportion of road users opting for the use of public transport and active commuting, changes to infrastructure shall be vital to cope with the escalating needs of pedestrians and non-motorised road users. In addition, with Singapore’s increasing emphasis on going “car-lite”, it is paramount to encourage young Singaporeans to commute actively. Hence, this research project also investigated parental and children perspectives on mode choice to/from school, utilising conventional perception and free association surveys. Results from the perception survey for parents showed that 89% of the children who live within 1 km of the school are commuting actively to school, and parents are most concerned with distance and absence of adult supervision with regard to active commuting; parents also felt that age is the most important factor when it comes to passive commuting for their children. Results from the free association survey for children showed that children tend to prefer cycling than walking. It was also gathered that children felt that school zones are aesthetically unpleasing to them. Two possible recommendations are drafted which include the implementation of the “Walking School Bus” programme and greater involvement of road safety and knowledge in the curriculum. The results gathered from this research project are useful for future planning of active commuting and road safety of children in Singapore.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University