The Children's Traffic Club is a club created by The Danish Road Safety Council to teach children in the age group of 3-6_ years how to behave in traffic.
Background and objective
Children are the most relevant target group regarding the development of future transport habbits and at the same time the most vulnerable one as well due to aspects like perception of space and the estimation of critical situations. Therefore the Children's Traffic Club offers children and their parents to teach the children how to behave in traffic.
Before their child turns three years old, all parents in Denmark receive a pamphlet from the Road Safety Council to become aware that it is time to start educating the child how to behave safely in traffic. The Traffic Club offers the child a voluntary membership of the club for an amount of 110 DKK (app. 15 €) for a period of two years. There are two periods of membership, corresponding to children in the age group of 3-4½ and children in the age group of 5-6½.
In the Children's Traffic Club children and parents receive material twice a year, which helps parents teaching and training their child how to behave in traffic. The first material arrives when the child turns three years old.
The material consists basically of books, audio-tapes, games and small exercise books. In all packages there is enclosed a letter for the child and another one for the parents. In the parents' letter there is a short description of what the child is supposed to learn and how to learn it. In every package there is also a small exercise book that carefully guides parents in how to practise safe traffic behaviour with their child. The Children's Traffic Club has the philosophy that reading aloud, playing and talking can increase children's interest in traffic, but that the practical training should take place out in real traffic.
When the child turns 3-5 years old it is time to teach the child how to be a safe pedestrian. They should be taught to walk on the footpath in the right way and to look both ways when crossing the road, both at signalised and in non-signalised intersections. When the child turns 5½ years old, it is time to start practising to walk the most safe route to and from school/kindergarten. It is important to be aware that the most safe way to and from kindergarten is often longer than the most direct way.
At the age of five, the child is still not old enough to walk alone to and from kindergarten/school. When the child turns 6½ years old it receives the last material from the Traffic Club.
- At an early age, children are taught how to behave in a safe way in traffic.
- Parents get information and advice on how to teach their children to behave safely in traffic.
- A large number of traffic education programmes have been evaluated in terms of children's behaviour. Several studies showed that the practical training of children in real traffic improves their traffic behaviour. Theoretical teaching of children was shown to improve their knowledge, but to have limited effect on their behaviour
- There are doubts about the effect on accident risk of teaching and training strategy based on the knowledge of child psychology. Children have a number of psychological and physiological limitations. They can learn how to behave, but they can never be relied upon to use their knowledge when necessary.
- There is no guarantee that effects on knowledge or behaviour automatically lead to a reduced accident risk.