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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(1):CD003110.

Area-wide traffic calming for preventing traffic related injuries.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC), University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK, AL10 9PN. f.bunn@herts.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is estimated that by 2020 road traffic crashes will have moved from ninth to third in the world disease burden ranking, as measured in disability adjusted life years, and second in developing countries. The identification of effective strategies for the prevention of traffic related injuries is of global health importance. Area-wide traffic calming schemes that discourage through traffic on residential roads is one such strategy.

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the effectiveness of area-wide traffic calming in preventing traffic related crashes, injuries, and deaths.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We searched the following electronic databases: Cochrane Injuries Group's Specialised Register, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, MEDLINE, EMBASE and TRANSPORT (NTIS, TRIS, TRANSDOC). We searched the web sites of road safety organisations, handsearched conference proceedings, checked reference lists of relevant papers and contacted experts in the area. The search was not restricted by language or publication status.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomised controlled trials, and controlled before-after studies of area-wide traffic calming schemes.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Two reviewers independently extracted data on type of study, characteristics of intervention and control areas, and length of data collection periods. Before and after data were collected on the total number of road traffic crashes, all road user deaths and injuries, pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions and road user deaths. The statistical package STATA was used to calculate rate ratios for each study, which were then pooled to give an overall estimate using a random effects model.

MAIN RESULTS:

We found no randomised controlled trials, but 16 controlled before-after trials met our inclusion criteria. Seven studies were done in Germany, six in the UK, two in Australia and one in the Netherlands. There were no studies in low or middle income countries. Eight trials reported the number of road traffic crashes resulting in deaths. The pooled rate ratio was 0.63 (0.14, 2.59 95% CI). Sixteen studies reported the number of road traffic crashes resulting in injuries (fatal and non fatal). The pooled rate ratio was 0.89 (0.80, 1.00 95% CI). Nine studies reported the total number of road traffic crashes. The pooled rate ratio was 0.95 (0.81, 1.11 95% CI). Thirteen trials reported the number of pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions. The pooled rate ratio was 1.00 (0.84, 1.18). There was significant heterogeneity for the total number of crashes and deaths and injuries.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

The results from this review suggest that area-wide traffic calming in towns and cities may be a promising intervention for reducing the number of road traffic injuries, and deaths. However, further rigorous evaluations of this intervention are needed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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