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Challenge / Goal

There are around 32,000 schools in Germany. The majority of schools do not have a school route plan to navigate children safely to school, and existing plans often have the problem that they are static or no longer up to date. Children are particularly worthy of protection as they are inexperienced in traffic and are considered to be particularly vulnerable to motorized traffic. At the same time, there is the problem that fewer and fewer children are walking to school independently due to "parent cabs". According to a 2020 study[1] on the topic of "Safe routes to school", the most frequently cited reason (77% of respondents) why many parents drive their children to school is that they consider the road infrastructure to be too unsafe and therefore prefer to take their children to school by "parent cab".

[1] Source: Kinderhilfswerk, VCD, VBE - representative survey from September 2020


As part of the FeGiS+ research project on "Early detection of danger spots in road traffic using smart data", a methodology was developed to detect danger spots at an early stage, if possible before accidents occur. In addition to accident data, other data sources are also used, such as crowdsourcing data from road users on their experiences and braking data from vehicles. This has resulted in a road safety map, which can be viewed at[1], which assesses the entire road network (urban and extra-urban) according to risk level, even in areas where no serious accidents may have occurred to date. The methodology is scientifically sound[2] and also received 2 awards[3 ] from the European Commission at the end of 2022.

The above-mentioned road safety map provides the basis for the "Digital School Route Planner", which was designed as a user-friendly application for children, parents, schools and municipalities, in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University and the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology "HeiGIT" at Heidelberg University. A smart routing function was integrated into the digital school route map via HeiGIT. Here, routes can be researched explicitly for pedestrians, avoiding danger spots as far as possible and giving preference to particularly recommended routes. In addition to the fastest route, the safest possible route can also be displayed, which parents can discuss with their children and thus sensitize them to dangerous spots on the way to school.

Furthermore, integrates relevant data from other available sources, such as crossing aids, traffic lights, bus stops, school roads, etc. Schools and local authorities can also add further information to the map, such as recommended routes, specialist information (e.g. "Caution, many trucks at this crossing point" or temporary information such as "Roadworks on this sidewalk until Dec, please use the other side of the road"). The latter example also shows one of the great advantages of the digital school route map: Namely, this can be continuously updated and supplemented with current notices (such as roadworks). This makes it much easier to maintain the information, as new information can always be updated and easily entered by authorized users of the school or municipality.

The town of Waldkraiburg is using as a pilot municipality. In addition to its own specialist information, the entire population was also called upon to actively report any dangers experienced in road traffic. After a short time, several dozen reports were received, further enriching the regional database.

[1] Public version, there is also an expert portal for municipalities/police with more details via a password-protected area

[2]FERSI Conference - Forum of European Road Safety Research Institutes + further publications

[3]European Road Safety Charter - Excellence in Road Safety Award 2022 - IT category + Audience Award

Citizen participation

It is expressly desired that citizens proactively report critical situations in road traffic and near-accidents via the report button on The reports are evaluated automatically and can influence the risk assessment of the road section from a certain level of interaction. In this way, the data situation can always be kept up to date and new danger spots can be identified. Comprehensive press work such as newspaper articles and online reports as well as e-mail distribution lists at schools are used to encourage reporting.


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Time period

Planning time: Less than 6 months

Implementation time: Less than 6 months


Initiative for Safer Roads

Service providers

Initiative for Safer Roads

End users

Parents, pupils, schools, local authorities

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