A traffic park or children's traffic park is a park in which children can learn the rules of the road. A traffic park is also called a transportation park or traffic garden or safety village depending on locale.
Traffic parks are frequently created as an attraction within a larger park. In other cases, they are single-use parks and often small in scale. They can be found in urban as well as rural areas.
Children are allowed to use bicycles or pedal-powered cars to navigate the streets and operate according to traffic laws. Sometimes they share a buggy with their parent, who can provide guidance as they circle the park. Typically, traffic parks are scaled-down versions of real street networks, with the lane and street-width proportional to the smaller vehicles. Often they include operating traffic signals and during busy times are even staffed with traffic police.
One of the intentions of the traffic park is to improve awareness of traffic safety among school-aged children. Many traffic parks enable children to gain hands-on experience crossing streets and with bicycle or other pedestrian safety challenges in a highly controlled environment devoid of actual motor vehicles.
Traffic parks exist throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Traffic parks in Asia and Europe are focused on traffic safety through pedal-powered vehicles. In the United States and Canada they use bicycles as well as electric, motorized vehicles. These North American parks are called safety villages, because of broader emphasis on safety for fire, electrical, food and other educational purposes.
In the United Kingdom parks are called experiential safety and lifeskills centres, with education mainly delivered indoors in life-sized sets. There are 11 in England, two in Scotland, one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland.
Here are some of the traffic parks around the world.
- Apex Merriwa Traffic School, Wangaratta, Victoria.
- Buzy Kidz Traffic School, Mill Park, Victoria.
- Camelot Traffic School, Moorabbin, Victoria.
- Casey Safety Village, Cranbourne, Victoria.
- Constable Care Safety School, Maylands, Western Australia.
- Essendon Traffic School, Essendon, Victoria.
- GDF Suez Traffic School, Morwell, Victoria.
- Kew Traffic School, Kew, Victoria.
- SAPOL Road Safety Centre, Thebarton Police Barracks, South Australia. (Original centre closed to make way for new Royal Adelaide Hospital, current centre opened February 2013.)
- Chilliawak, British Columbia.
- Victoria, British Columbia. Vancouver Island Tom Thumb mobile safety village.
- Belleville, Ontario
- Chatham, Ontario
- Durham, Ontario
- Lambton, Ontario
- London, Ontario
- Niagara, Ontario
- Ottawa, Ontario (Opened in 1972, flooded in 2006, closed in 2007 and demolished in 2010. Rebuilding efforts are currently underway)
- Peel, Ontario
- Waterloo, Ontario
- Windsor, Ontario
- York, Ontario
In the Czech Republic, there is over 150 traffic parks, that are permanently situated in nearly every town or city of population over 20 000. There is also the concept of "moving" parks that are transported from place to place.
- Lasten liikennekaupunki in Helsinki, Finland. Opened in 20.5.1958 near the Olympic Stadium and it got small traffic lights in the 1960s.
- Kupittaanpuisto park in Turku, Finland.
- Rahtarit-liikennepuisto in Kangasala, Finland.
- Hollihaan liikennepuisto in Oulu, Finland. (pictured)
- Fuchu, Tokyo
- Koganei, Tokyo
- Mitaka, Tokyo
- Suginami, Tokyo
- Tama, Tokyo
- Автоград, St. Petersburg
- Serdivan Belediyesi Trafik Parkı Biggest children traffic park in the middle east. Built by Serdivan Municipality. This traffic park is a non-profit organization. There are 20 electric cars, 30 bicycle helmets, 10 bicycles, a classroom for theorical traffic education, a mini-hospital for first-aid education in the park.
- Milton Keynes
- Safety Central, Lymm
- Frisco, Texas
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Cobb County, Georgia
- Elmhurst, Illinois
- Elyria, Ohio
- Escondido, California
- Huntington, West Virginia
- Mansfield, Ohio
- Pasco County, Florida
- Portsmouth, Virginia
- Temecula, California
- Washington County, Maryland
Chautauqua Children's Safety Education Village
In 2010, New York State's Chautauqua County nears completion of a children's safety education village in the city of Asheville. Portions of the facility are already operational while the park is being finished.
The safety village is a non-profit organization funded by private donations and the sale of naming rights. Corporate advertising is sold on ten street names, 25 electric cars, 100 bicycle helmets, 25 bicycles, 28 buildings, as well as in classrooms and even within the curriculum. As of 2007, rights had been purchased by Sam's Club, Walmart, Tim Hortons, E. E. Austin & Son,
The Chautauqua safety village "the fundamentals of street safety, railway crossing, sign recognition, pedestrian crossing, bicycle safety, 911 usages, and many other safety-related subjects."
The village was inspired when the local American Legion post visited Waterloo, Canada in 1995 and observed the safety village there.
- Kew Traffic School, "City of Boroondara", Accessed online 28 August 2010.
- Road Safety Centre, SAPOL, Accessed online 23 January 2015.
- , AdelaideNow, Accessed online 23 January 2015.
- VISC Tom Thumb Mobile Safety Village, Vancouver Island Safety Council, Accessed 28 August 2010.
- Kids Safety Village, Durham Regional Police, Accessed online 28 August 2010.
- Ottawa Safety Council, Accessed online 12 December 2014.
- List of Traffic Parks in the Czech Republic, 2016Dětská dopravní hřiště, BESIP, Accessed online 10 June 2016
- Traffic Park ProsekDopravní hřiště Prosek, Accessed online 10 June 2016
- Traffic Park of the Semafor centreCentrum Semafor, Accessed online 10 June 2016
- Traffic Park Velké MeziříčíDětské dopravní hřiště, Accessed online 10 June 2016
- "lasten AND liikennekaupungin".
- Traffic Park, Kupittaanpuisto, Accessed online 28 August 2010
- Rahtarit-liikennepuisto, Rahtarit-liikennepuisto, Accessed online 23 July 2011
- , Utrecht's traffic garden helps kids become responsible road users, Accessed online 30 September 2010
- tr:Serdivan, Sakarya
- Welcome to Friso Fire Safety Town, City of Frisco, Texas, Accessed 28 August 2010.
- Tim Hortons, E.E. Austin & Son Contractors Open At Safety Village, The Post-Journal, Accessed online 28 August 2010.
- CCSEV News Page, "Chautauqua Children's Safety Education Village", Accessed online 28 August 2010.
- Health Department, Chautauqua Children’s Safety Education Village announce collaboration, The Observer, Accessed online 28 August 2010.
- Children’s Safety Village Clarification, The Post-Journal, Accessed online 28 August 2010.
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