Toronto Metropolitan University
1-s2.0-S2214140522001669-main.pdf (1.4 MB)

The effectiveness of built environment interventions embedded in road safety policies in urban municipalities in Canada: An environmental scan and scoping review

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-14, 20:35 authored by Sarah A. Richmond, Claire Buchan, Tona M. Pitt, Alexia Medeiros, Ian Pike, Brent E. Hagel, Linda RothmanLinda Rothman, Colin Macarthur, Alison K. Macpherson


Injuries and deaths from motor vehicle collisions are a significant public health issue. As public health researchers and practitioners, we must support the work of municipalities by advocating for effective interventions to reduce this burden. This requires an evidence-based approach; however, many interventions embedded in existing road safety policies in Canada are not supported by evidence. The objective of this work was to review the built environment (BE) interventions in road safety policies in five, urban municipalities in Canada and summarize the peer-reviewed literature to support them.


Data were retrieved through an environmental scan of road safety policies across five Canadian urban municipalities, supplemented by a scoping review of articles indexed in MEDLINE and a grey literature search. Inclusion criteria were: 1) BE interventions, 2) collision or collision pathway outcomes (e.g., vehicle speed, vehicle volume), 3) evaluative study designs, and 4) studies published less than 20 years ago (i.e., 1999–2019). We critically appraised the included studies using the TREND checklist. Data were extracted and summarized, grouped by intervention type.


The environmental scan yielded 42 BE interventions within the existing road safety policies across CHASE regions. The scoping review found a total of 124 studies; the final sample included 45 studies with 29 interventions. The median TREND score [interquartile range (IQR)] was 16 (15, 17) out of 22. Published scientific evidence was not found for 13interventions.


A low proportion of included studies specific to the existing road safety policies in urban areas in Canada demonstrated a reduction in collisions. Further, significant variability in the level of effectiveness across interventions exists. Information specific to the effectiveness of interventions should be an integral part of the decision making process for BE change; however, more work is needed to better understand critical decision making factors.




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