1,200 children a month involved in road accidents near schools
New research has highlighted worrying levels of road accidents in the vicinity of schools, with nearly 1,200 children a month involved in collisions within 500 metres of school gates.
Around 86,000 children have been involved in road accidents near British schools in the last six years, according to an analysis of official figures and police crash reports conducted by Road Safety Analysis.
Research highlights to local authorities the dangers of school run
The group looked at all casualties and collisions within a 500-metre radius of 29,142 schools using an online tool, in the hope it would prompt action from local authorities and head teachers.
The latest official figures for 2011 show there were a total of 6,645 ‘school run’ child casualties – defined as accidents occurring between 7:30 and 8:59am or between 3:00 and 4:59pm on a school day - accounting for roughly one third of all child casualties in the year.
Of those 804 were deaths and serious injuries - exactly one-third of all child deaths and serious injuries in the year.
Dan Campsall, director of Road Safety Analysis told The Times: ‘It is important that these groups are able to understand the immediate road risks around schools if they are going to work effectively to secure safer communities for children.’
London areas had the worst records. In total the capital accounted for 13% of child accidents from the past six years and 22% of collisions close to schools.
Westminster had the highest number of people of all ages injured near schools, seeing more than 89 per school area during the study period. It also saw the highest number of people killed or injured. Manchester had the highest number of child injuries, seeing 7 per school area.
Liverpool, Bradford, Oldham, Leicester, Birmingham and Nottingham also suffered a large number of casualties.
Road safety minister Stephen Hammond said in response: ‘Road deaths are at a record low and child casualties have fallen considerably in recent years but I am determined to make our roads even safer.
‘That is why we are improving road safety education resources for schools, making it easier for councils to put in place 20mph zones on their roads and are increasing fixed penalties for offences such as driving while using a mobile phone from £60 to £100.
‘By combining education, enforcement and engineering measures such as these we will continue to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads.’