In June 1984 a survey was conducted to provide information about the current state of road safety education in primary and middle schools. Questionnaires were sent to 2647 headteachers, and 1813 (68 per cent) responded. This was followed by in-depth interviews in 99 schools to validate the postal questionnaire returns. The postal survey and the interview study produced remarkably similar results. In both studies over 90 per cent of the schools claimed to have been teaching some form of road safety education. Outside specialists (mostly the police and road safety officers) had made a substantial contribution to the subject by giving talks in 83 per cent of the schools. The input from teachers was, however, largely incidental. In barely a third of schools was road safety education taught as a separate subject, or as part of other subjects. Cyclist training had been provided in 56 per cent of the schools surveyed. It was mostly conducted by road safety officers or teachers. The limited use made by teachers of road safety curriculum materials, their limited preparation to teach road safety education and the lack of a well developed organisation structure for road safety education within primary and middle schools were identified as factors requiring immediate attention if the provision of road safety is to be further improved for schoolchildren aged 5-13.

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