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Cross-cutting issues > Children and other vulnerable road users


The implementation of sustainable modes of transport needs to reflect the needs of groups at high risk, such as the elderly, handicapped, and children. The London Charter and the London Conference Declaration identified children as a group particularly vulnerable to the health impacts of environmental factors, including those stemming from transport, and called for actions to reduce their exposure to environmental hazards and injuries. A joint WHO-EEA monograph on "Children's Health and the Environment" (2000) has summarized available evidence on environmental health priorities for European children.

The Third Road Safety Week in the UNECE region  (2000) was targeted at vulnerable road users, in particular children, the elderly, handicapped, as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. The Second Road Safety Week (1995) was devoted exclusively to young road users.

The 4th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health (Budapest, June 2004) focused on children and environmental health in the context of sustainable development. Specific actions focussing on the interaction between children's mobility needs, transport policies and health effects can include the promotion of road safety programmes specifically targeted at children, development of opportunities for independent walking and cycling, reduction of isolation and over-reliance on adult support for travel, and development of awareness-raising programmes targeted at parents and educators to increase knowledge about the health and environment impacts of transport on children.