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School Run Drives Up Annual Child Road Casualty Rate

17th December 2013
Just as the “schools go back” to begin the autumn term, a new report draws attention to the 1,200 children involved in road accidents every month, which seem to take place not much more than 500 yards from the school gates, and bring a further tragic dimension to personal injury claims.

The Road Safety Analysis organisation has found that, “Around 86,000 children have been involved in road accidents near British schools in the last six years”. Between 2006 to 2011, at least one child road injury has occurred in nearly 4 in ten of local school areas and only one in five schools say that no children were injured in accidents within a 500 metre radius of the school.

Third of annual injury figures...

Latest official figures for 2011 reveal that during the “school run’ times between 7.30 to 9.00 am and 3.00 to 5.00pm, there was a total of 6,645 child casualties, of which 804 were serious injuries and fatalities, a third of all 19,131 child deaths and serious injuries reported by the Department of Transport in the same year.

Average road casualties have actually been in decline with the number of reported child casualties up to the age of 15 having fallen by 14 per cent to 16,460 for the year ending March 2013. However, many concerned voices are being raised in the call for local authorities, schools and parents to work together to find a solution to improve safety and save the lives of their children.

Liverpool a high casualty area...

Some regions report much higher casualty tolls than elsewhere in the country. In locations  with more than 100 schools, the No.1 area for collisions between 2006 and 2011, was London, accounting for 13 per cent of child casualties around the UK, followed by Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Leicester.

Road safety minister, Stephen Hammond has responded to the report that he is, “determined to make roads even safer”. Recently, the government has raised the fixed penalties for offences, such as driving while using a mobile phone from £60 to £100, and there is an ongoing initiative to introduce 20mph zones in urban areas.

While studies show that previous 20 mph schemes have only shown minimal improvement to reducing traffic speeds, it may be that solutions may lie with approaching the entire subject of how a child commutes daily to school and general driving standards.