Child Active-transportation Safety and the Environment (CHASE)

Child Active-transportation Safety and the Environment (CHASE)

Active transportation, such as walking and cycling, is a healthy way for children to explore their environment and develop independence; however, children are more vulnerable to injury when travelling actively.

Many Canadian cities make changes to the built environment (e.g., traffic calming features, protected cycle tracks) to try and keep people safe. There is some research on how effective these changes are in preventing adult pedestrians and cyclists from getting hurt, but very little research has been done to show how safe various environments are for children and youth. 

The CHASE research program will study how features of the built environment affect whether kids walk or cycle to school and whether or not certain built environment features increase or decrease their likelihood of getting hurt.  Study outcomes aim to measure and describe:

  • Risky driver behaviours at school drop-off time and active school transportation in children across Canadian urban/suburban areas.
  • Adult and child pedestrian road crossing behaviours during morning school drop-off time across urban/suburban areas.
  • A comparison of active school transportation mode-shares across urban/suburban areas.
  • Motorist speed compliance near Calgary elementary schools; and
  • Circumstances contributing to child-cyclist injuries in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.


CHATR lab members will work to complete a Vancouver-component of the CHASE study and will accomplish this through:

  • Observing morning commute to school transportation modes, recording dangerous driving and walking behaviours, and conducting street audits around primary schools in Vancouver and Surrey.
  • Recruiting children and youth who were injured while cycling and presenting to the emergency department of BC Children’s Hospital to conduct in-person interviews and environmental audits of the injury site using a case-crossover study design.
  • Partnering with injury prevention professionals, governments, environmental and not-for-profit organizations, and traffic safety professionals to collect geographic and collision data.
  • Disseminating findings to knowledge users.


The CHASE study has been funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (2017-2021) and runs in collaboration with a number of investigators seated at several institutions across Canada, with program leads at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. CHATR lead Dr. Meghan Winters runs Vancouver-based component of CHASE in close community partnership with:

  • The City of Vancouver
  • The City of Surrey
  • ICBC

More information can be found on the main website or by contacting our Vancouver CHASE Research Coordinator Moreno (