Danger for children of texting while crossing roads

 

Children are putting their safety at risk by being distracted by their phones when crossing the road, according to a report published today.

Despite a reduction in the number of children involved in road accidents in recent years, levels remain high – at more than 2,400 victims a year.

And the proportion of those which are under five is at its highest in a decade, says the AXA RoadSafe report. One in seven children killed or injured are under five (14 per cent) compared to one in 10 (11 per cent) in 2001. This equates to more than 300 children each year.

There is a need for road safety education, particularly among primary age school children, and this should include the responsible use of mobile phones and other handheld gadgets, says the report.

Pupils starting secondary school account for a third [32 per cent] of accidents during the school run.

“Today, an 11-year-old pedestrian is three times more likely to be killed or seriously injured during the school run than a 10-year-old. This is an increase from twice as likely 10 years ago,” states the report.

A spokesman from Road Safety GB called on parents to “warn children of the potential distractions and dangers mobiles can cause” and added: “Texting, playing games and making calls can be lethal to a child near the road.”

And Dan Campsall, of Road Safety Analysis, said: “The need to educate our children about managing their journeys, including the potential distraction of devices such as mobile phones, must remain a priority.”

Case study: 'I'm always using at least one of my phone or mp3 player'

Philip Williams, 14, of Liverpool, said: "I don't leave the house without at least two pieces of technology - my mobile phone and my mp3 player. And whether riding my bike or walking, I'm using at least one of them. It's probably not too sensible but it's what all my mates do too. I check for messages every few minutes when travelling to and from school so I've had a few close shaves when crossing roads because of it. 

"I remember a few weeks ago when I had my earphones in and was in the middle of a text when I casually checked the road and there was a car in the distance. I didn't think much of it until the guy started beeping me so I had to run across the road pretty quickly. That wasn't the first time it had happened so after that, I now take my earphones out and properly look out for traffic particularly when at busy roads."

Philip went on to say, "Leaving school is the worst time of the day for it because everyone immediately gets their phone out to check for messages. There are hundreds of kids at our school and loads of cars so I know a few friends who have also almost been hit by a car because they are messing with their phones or mp3 players."   

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before