The Road Safety Division (RSD) of the Department for Transport (DfT; formerly the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR)) was keen to understand the reasons for these differences. Against this background, the RSD commissioned MVA Ltd and the Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Leeds to undertake a comparative study of child pedestrian accidents and exposure to risk in Great Britain, France and the Netherlands. The study was commissioned in 1997 and completed in 1999.
The aim of the research was to understand the differences in exposure and accident rates of 5–15-year-olds within similar road environments and, by identifying the factors that might explain higher accident rates in Great Britain, to assess the implications for policy. The report of this study included a macro-level comparative analysis which accounted for significant differences in child pedestrian fatality rates between Great Britain and our European counterparts.