Calls to make roads safer for young children

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HUNDREDS of children have been injured on the roads over four years.

The RAC Foundation is warning people to take care in a bid to reduce injuries.

The recent increase in child casualty numbers should concern us all

Steve Gooding

It released figures showing that in The News’ area there were 1,475 child casualties on the roads.

Portsmouth, ranked 27th worst in the country, had 416 children aged 10 to 15 injured on roads between 2010 and 2014.

Rankings are based on comparisons between local authorities using the figure of the number of accidents per 10,000 children living in the area.

Havant was ranked 160th with 167 children injured in the same time period.

Gosport was 164th with 122 reported child casualties.

And Fareham was 219th, with 134 casualties reported.

In East Hampshire there were 105, with the local authority area ranking 353rd.

Southampton ranked 63rd, with 405 child casualties.

Winchester, which covers areas including Whiteley, Clanfield and Denmead, ranked 298th, with 126 child injuries.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: ‘Over the past decade or so there has been a steady decline in the overall number of child casualties but worryingly in 2014 there was a noticeable increase. The recent increase in child casualty numbers should concern us all.

‘We don’t want to wrap our children in cotton wool, and walking and cycling are good for our health, so as adults and parents we need to lead by example whether we are driving a car, crossing the road or on two wheels.

‘The more we act responsibly, the faster young children will learn how to make the right decisions and stay safe.’

It said the peak time for child road casualties is between 3pm and 4pm, and there is a spike between 8am and 9am – school rush hours. There are more injuries in July.

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