Redbridge roads among England’s safest for children, figures show
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 April 2020
Redbridge’s roads are among England’s safest for children, with fewer serious accidents than almost anywhere else.
Figures from Public Health England and the Department for Transport show that 20 under-16s were killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions in Redbridge in the three years from 2016 to 2018.
At a rate of 9.8 incidents per 100,000 children, that is one of the lowest figures in England, which had an average of 17.7.
The rate in Redbridge had risen compared to 2015 to 2017, however, when it was at 8.3.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, said he was very proud of the borough’s impressive road safety record, which he believes is the result of a huge amount of work that has taken place across Redbridge.
He said: “We have installed safety measures around every local primary school, including speed humps/cushions, 20 mph zones, new crossing facilities, signage and markings, and these efforts are paying off.
“We monitor accident rates on all roads in the borough and specifically target areas heavily used by school children, cyclists, moped and scooter riders.
“We spend around £700,000 a year on the road safety measures and we also have a budget to provide training aimed at educating pupils, teachers and parents on road safety.
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“Our School Clean Air Zones which restrict vehicles entering roads around the schools during school opening and closing, have further contributed to this great result, and I know our teams will continue to work hard to keep our roads safe.”
Across the country, 5,665 children were killed or seriously injured on the roads in 2016-18.
That is the highest level for five years, although it has fallen from 7,325 in 2008-10.
The Department for Transport warns some police forces have changed their definition of a serious injury, meaning national figures may not be comparable with previous years.
Public Health England says parents cite the speed and volume of traffic as reasons they do not allow their children to walk or cycle, which it says is reducing opportunities for physical exercise.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said it has “consistently called on the Government to increase its efforts to reduce pedestrian casualties involving children”.
Nick Lloyd, head of road safety for the charity, said: “Walking to school provides excellent daily exercise, which should be encouraged and allows parents or carers the opportunity to teach children valuable lifesaving road safety skills.
“There should also be a greater emphasis on schools providing pedestrian training in primary schools to prepare children as they move up to high school.”
A DfT spokeswoman said: “The death of any child on our roads is a tragedy and we express our deepest sympathies to the families who have sadly lost loved ones.
“We’ve empowered local authorities to help deliver road safety measures – such as the introduction of appropriate speed limits – and we’re using new technology and research to educate children about the dangers on our roads.”
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