Posted By Cormac Sheridan ~ 2nd September 2013
89% Reduction in Children Killed on Our Roads Between 1997 and 2012
However, report finds that no seatbelt or child restraint was used in 30% of child passenger fatalities in this period
With schools reopening around the country for the start of a new school year, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking parents, teachers and children to make every effort to ensure this school year is a safe one. Despite a reduction in child road fatalities in recent years, research from the RSA has revealed that 262 young lives were lost between 1997 and 2012. A further 1,107 were seriously injured. So far this year, four young lives have been lost.
The RSA’s ‘Child Casualties Report 1997 to 2012’ showed that there was an 89% reduction in the number of children (aged 0-14 years) killed and a 52% reduction in the number of children injured on our roads between 1997 and 2012. The report showed that 43% of children killed during this period were pedestrians, and 42% of children killed and seriously injured were car passengers. Of the child passengers killed, 30% were not using a seatbelt or child restraint. The report also found that children are most at risk of being killed on the roads between 4:00pm and 5:59pm, the time when they may be travelling home from school.
The RSA is asking parents to ensure their child is kitted out with the necessary road safety gear, such as a bicycle helmet, working lights on their bicycle and a high vis vest or jacket. Younger children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult so that they can learn by example how to use the road safely. When travelling by car or bus, children should always be restrained in the appropriate child restraint. For older children who may walk or cycle to school, it is important that they learn how to share the road safely with other road-users, for example, how to use hand signals to indicate a manoeuvre and always obeying the Rules of the Road