Reducing car idling at primary schools: An intervention study of parent behaviour change in Perth, Western Australia
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© 2020 Australian Health Promotion Association
Issued addressed: There is increasing evidence that exposure to traffic-related air pollution is related to childhood respiratory symptoms. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of an anti-idling behavioural intervention targeting parents at primary schools.
Methods: Based on two focus group discussions with parents, a low-intensity 4-week anti-idling intervention was developed, comprising onsite signage, four newsletters, and two fact sheets. Exposure to selected air pollutants was assessed during pick-up and drop-off times pre- and postintervention at 12 randomly selected independent schools (10 intervention and 2 control) across the Perth metropolitan area.
Results: The study results showed that a low-intensity behavioural intervention can be an effective strategy to affect parents’ attitude towards vehicle idling. This was demonstrated by the reduced number of idling vehicles observed in 8 of the 10 intervention schools and decreased overall particulate matter concentration after the anti-idling intervention.
Conclusion: Anti-idling education can be effective in promoting clean travel behaviours and has potential health benefits for school children.
So what?: This intervention study provides insights on the significant effect of anti-idling education on parents' behaviour towards air quality and children's health. These promising findings warrant further rigorous actions on anti-idling education and enforcement.
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