Faculty of Architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), Bangkok, Thailand
Traffic accidents, hazardous behaviors, and caretakers’ opinions have a strong effect on students’ safety during the drop-off and pick-up period. The present research about student drop-off and pick-up behaviors and spatial analysis will be helpful for better understanding school traffic incidents and related risk factors.
To examine the risk factors associated with school drop-off and pick-up in three dimensions: 1) risk zones, 2) risk behaviors, and 3) risk periods.
A mixed method approach was employed using 4 sets of data, consisting of 1) the statistics of accidents occurring around primary schools, 2) the student drop-off and pick-up behaviors, 3) the opinions toward risk zones and risk periods, and 4) the data obtained from the survey and interview. The spatial analysis was conducted using kernel density estimation technique. The statistical data analysis was carried out to analyze and compare the questionnaire responses given by the teachers and parents from the primary schools with the highest accident rate in 5 regions of Thailand.
Pedestrian crossing points in front of the school gates and blind spots behind the school buildings were considered the risk zones. In the morning, the parents usually dropped the students off at the pavements in front of the school gate. Some of them walked the students to the classrooms. After school, the parents parked their cars and then walked to wait for the students at the meeting points scattered inside or outside the school. The opinions of the teachers and parents regarding the risk periods were found to be significantly different (p < 0.01), which affected the way the teachers and parents looked out for the students’ safety in the morning and after school period.
The areas around pedestrian crossing points and school gates require effective transport planning in order to specifically prevent and monitor hazardous incidents. A scattering of drop-off and pick-up points are risk behaviors. Therefore, each school should clearly set up safe drop-off and pick-up points and pay close attention to the safety of students both in the morning and after school. Creating safety for students should start with improving the school environment in order to reduce anxiety and facilitate behavior change.
Keywords: Risk factor for children, Kernel density analysis, Drop-off and pick-up behavior, Parent, Teacher, School zone, Thailand.
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