Road safety revealed: Thousands of children injured in crashes near schools

Research shows more than half a million vehicle collisions on roads around schools in UK from 2006 to 2011, resulting in more than 85,000 child casualties

Every month more than 1,000 British children are injured on roads near schools, according to researchers.

There was the equivalent of six collisions involving vehicles for every single school per year from 2006 to 2011, and while not all of these resulted in injuries, more than a third of school areas reported at least one child casualty each year in the period.

The statistics, compiled by the Road Safety Analysis (RSA) research body in collaboration with Axa Car Insurance, found that there was a total of 85,814 children injured on roads within a 500-metre radius of a school, the equivalent of 1,190 a month over the six years analysed.

London was perhaps unsurprisingly the city which accounted for the most injuries and collisions, with 13 per cent of child casualties and 22 per cent of all vehicle accidents occurring in the capital.

Among all other major cities, Liverpool recorded the most casualties among children near schools (including deaths, serious and slight injuries), while outside the capital Nottingham saw the greatest proportion of the 557,000 vehicle collisions.

Among the lowest child casualty areas were Swansea and Cardiff.

Axa and RSA today launched a Local Road Safety Index, which members of the public will be able to use to see how their own school areas compare with the rest of the country.

And Axa’s James Barclay said: “Child road safety is of paramount importance to everyone in Britain so the more that can be done to understand the facts, and therefore adapt infrastructure or education methods, the better.

”Our index is a big step towards being able to truly understand how the infrastructure within local areas around schools needs to be developed to make roads safer for children.“

Road Safety Analysis director Dan Campsall said: ”Translating this wealth of data into something that is meaningful for parents, teachers and community leaders has its challenges.

“However, it is important that these groups are able to understand the immediate road risks around their local schools if they are going to work effectively to secure safer communities for children in the future. The data can be used to support changes in local road safety education as well as the road environment, therefore helping to further safeguard pupils across the country.”

The figures include collisions during school holidays and the child casualty numbers do not necessarily refer to pupils at that particular school.

Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: “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.”

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