The Commuting Profiles of the Principals: Their Views on the Surrounding Built Environment and Infrastructure of their Schools and the Factors that Affect the Active Commuting of Students to and From School

Konstantinos Karakatsanis, George Kipreos, Costas Mountakis, Apostolos Stergioulas

Year: 2015 Volume: 17 Issue: a

Pages: 1-13

Abstract: This study assesses the commuting profiles of the principals of the schools, their views on the built environment and infrastructure around schools and active commuting (non motorized transport) of students to and from school. 369 principals voluntarily participated in this survey. All principals held a position from either elementary, junior high schools or senior high schools, in the most populous prefectures of Greece (Attica and Thessaloniki) during the school year 2012-2013. The results confirm that there is inadequate safety of infrastructure such as dangerous intersections-roads, lack of pedestrian roads with limited car access in front of the school entrance etc. for the active commuting of students around schools. The majority of principals consider that it is important for students to walk or cycle for commuting to and from school but on the other hand, they do not apply it to themselves. Although half of them reside in a walkable or cycle-able distance within 2000m from their work, they commute to school by motorized means and do not set a good example for the students. Principals believe that is necessary to conduct courses or programs on road safety education in schools and suggest methods to enhance the active means of commuting. In this context they reacted positively in organizing an annual event day of active commuting to and from school. Future research will be able to use geographical information systems to assist in the implementation of targeted and safety networks around the school.