Child Fatalities on Scotland's Roads Increase

by Alisha S. Thorpe

RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) has revealed it is disappointed to find the number of child fatalities on Scotland's roads has increased. Despite the positive news that overall child casualties had dropped from 1,390 in 2010, to 1,319 in 2011, the number of fatalities had, sadly, risen from four to seven. Of these, five were passengers and two were pedestrians.

Safety campaigns have branded this number as "distressing" and have gone on to state that the summer's drink-drug drive campaign has shown many drivers still think it is acceptable to put their lives at risk. The increase in fatalities is further disappointing news, given that overall, number of fatalities had fallen. Along with child fatalities, cyclist and pedestrian fatalities had also risen, showing that the most at risk are those who are not even on the roads.

Kathleen Braidwood, road safety officer for RoSPA Scotland has stated that these figures clearly show road safety is not a 'job done' and much still needs to be done to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians. There are a number of organisations working together on road safety to hopefully bring this number back down, but this is the crucial moment to ensure the work continues and fresh ways are found to prevent death and injury on the roads, particularly to children and those who are vulnerable.

This reduction focuses mainly on education and increased safety in high risk situations. As many of these accidents happen during the week, between 3pm and 6pm, this shows that those most at risk are on the school run route. Therefore education is needed to show parents how to not only keep their children safe along these routes but also ensure they educate their children on correct pedestrian safety. This includes crossing at zebra crossing, looking both ways before crossing, not playing recklessly on pavements by busy roads and so on. If the child walks to or from school alone, walking with them a few times to ensure they know the route and any danger spots is also highly recommended to ensure their safety.

The Scottish Government is currently campaigning for education to parents as well as higher safety on the roads. Often careless drivers are to blame and though a child may run out in front of your car, driving at the speed limit and always scanning the surrounding area, particularly near schools, should ensure the child is not seriously injured or killed. Safety and education are key.

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