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Pedestrian Behavior Following Implementation of a Walking School Bus

This study has been completed.
Baylor College of Medicine
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Information provided by:
University of Washington Identifier:
First received: November 21, 2006
Last updated: October 30, 2007
Last verified: October 2007
The purpose of this study is to determine whether a walking school bus program can increase the number of children walking to school and decrease the number of children driven by car to school.

Condition Intervention
Behavioral: Walking School Bus Program

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Official Title: Pedestrian Behavior Following Implementation of a Walking School Bus

Further study details as provided by University of Washington:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Proportion of children walking or driven by car to school at one-year [ Time Frame: 1, 6 and 12 months post initiation of intervention ]

Enrollment: 735
Study Start Date: November 2004
Study Completion Date: April 2006
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Students in school with active walk-to-school promotion programs.
Behavioral: Walking School Bus Program
Schoolwide promotion of walk to school. Facilitation of parent-led walking school bus routes.
No Intervention: 2
Students in schools with access to standard school district transportation resources.

Detailed Description:

Walking to school is associated with higher levels of physical activity, which is an objective of Healthy People 2010. However, parents' concerns about safety have been identified as a barrier that prevents their children from walking to school. A walking school bus (WSB) addresses these concerns by providing a supervised period of physical activity on the way to school. A WSB is a group of children led to and from school by responsible adults who walk together along a set route. The peer-reviewed literature on active travel to school is sparse. We evaluated a WSB program, to test the hypothesis that it would increase the proportion of children walking and decrease the proportion of children driven by car to school.

Comparison: We conducted an 18-month controlled, quasi-experimental trial at three public elementary schools in Seattle, Washington. The intervention school was assigned a WSB coordinator who dedicated 10-15 hours/week establishing WSB routes and implementing school activities on pedestrian safety. Each "bus" had its own set route to school from different locations in the surrounding neighborhoods and was staffed by several parent leaders. The two control schools received standard Seattle Public Schools resources on walking to school including "Safe Route Maps," a traffic and safety committee, and school safety patrols. The primary outcomes were the proportions of children who walked with and without an adult or were driven by car to school. We used the test for independent proportions to compare the proportion of children transported to school at the intervention versus control schools.


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Enrolled in school
  • Present on the day of the survey at one of 3 study schools.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Absent on the day of the survey at one of 3 study schools.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00402701

United States, Washington
Harborview Injury Prevention Research Center - University of Washington
Seattle, Washington, United States, 98104
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Washington
Baylor College of Medicine
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Principal Investigator: Brian D Johnston, MD MPH University of Washington
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number): Identifier: NCT00402701     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 04-3850-E/A
Study First Received: November 21, 2006
Last Updated: October 30, 2007

Keywords provided by University of Washington:
motor activity
motor vehicles processed this record on May 25, 2017