Every four minutes, a child dies in a traffic crash around the world. Many others are permanently injured. Children walking to school are particularly vulnerable. In many countries, most crashes involving children happen within 500m from the school, many of them at entrance and exit hours. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

The decision to walk to school can be influenced by the perception of students, parents and the broader school community about road safety, including the presence (or absence) of road infrastructure elements. Sidewalks, compact and controlled intersections, crossing facilities and vehicle speeds impact how safe – or how unsafe – pedestrians feel on their way to the school and their decision to walk or not.[6] These infrastructure elements also have a direct impact on safety performance.

SR4S is an evidence-based way to measure, monitor and communicate the risk pedestrians are exposed on a school journey. Since its development, it has been used by organisations worldwide to assess more than 1,200 schools in 67 countries. From these, more than 400 schools have been upgraded, 286 of each have been assessed both before and after the interventions with SR4S.

The recently updated Safe Schools Tracker provides insights into the road infrastructure interventions that have been implemented to achieve a safety rating of 3-stars or better for children walking to and from school. The Tracker includes locations in 20 countries that affect more than 120,000 students. The 3-star or better locations not only feel safer and therefore can encourage more walking, but they are also objectively much less risky than before.

These assessments show that:

– average star rating more than doubled, going from 1.7 to 3.7 stars out of 5

– prior to the upgrades, only 22% of the locations were rated 3-stars or better

– locations with 30km/h or lower speed limit increased from 29% to 85%

– locations with speed management (or traffic calming) increased from 17% to 74%

– locations with pedestrian crossing facilities increased from 45% to 96% of the improved locations

– locations with sidewalks increased from 70% to 86%.


Overall, the Safe Schools Tracker shows that thanks to the efforts of SR4S partners worldwide, more than 90,000 students have seen key 1- and 2-star locations eliminated from around their schools.

The insights available in the tool are cause for celebration – every step our partners make in improving speeds and infrastructure around schools is a step towards saving lives and preventing injuries.

The Safe Schools Tracker shows not just what can be done in theory – but what is actually being done all around the world and will inspire even greater efforts.

SR4S has benefited from the support of founding sponsor FedEx, major donor the FIA Foundation, programme partners 3M and Prudence Foundation, and lead partners, AIP FoundationChild Health InitiativeEASSTFIAFundación Gonzalo RodríguezGlobal Alliance of NGOs for Road SafetyGRSPIRFSafe Kids Worldwide, YOURS and World Resources Institute. SR4S is made safer by iRAP.

Find out more information here starratingforschools.org

[1] GIS-based spatial analysis of child pedestrian accidents near primary schools in Montréal, Canada (monash.edu)

[2] Análisis-espacial-de-puntos-críticos-de-atropellos-de-niños-en-zonas-de-Establecimientos-Educacionales-Santiago-Chile.pdf (conaset.cl)

[3] The safety of schoolchildren on London’s roads – final report (tfl.gov.uk)

[4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0001457523001938

[5] UNICEF Technical Guidance https://www.unicef.org/media/130721/file/UNICEF_Child_and_Adolescent_Road_Safety_Technical_Guidance_2022.pdf

[6] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214140515006805