Drivers urged to take greater care near Portsmouth schools

20mph zones are in place around much of Portsmouth
20mph zones are in place around much of Portsmouth

Car ends up in ditch after collision with an Argos lorry

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DRIVERS need to be more vigilant around schools.

That is the message after figures revealed that Portsmouth has the highest proportion of road casualties within 500 metres of a school.

Statistics by insurance company Axa and the Road Safety Analysis group found that, between 2011 and 2013, 1,520 people were involved in road incidents.

It was followed by Kingston upon Hull and Brighton and Hove.

The city was also the fifth highest for the number of child road casualties within 500 metres of schools with 214.

Birmingham City was highest with 934 followed by Lancashire with 844 and Kent with 782.

Cabinet member for children and education at Portsmouth City Council Councillor Neill Young said they are looking at solutions to the problem.

‘A scrutiny panel is looking into the issue at the moment,’ he said.

‘We are aiming to identify why this number is so high and want can be done in the future.

‘As a city we want to support schools to educate children about road safety.

‘Any child death on the road is one death too far.

‘We are very conscious of the problem and want to make drivers vigilant.’

He added: ‘It’s important that we educate children but also their parents.

‘Anyone who lives near a school knows that at the beginning and end of the days, cars will be parked anywhere by parents dropping off and picking up their children.

‘So it’s important that all drivers understand children could be nearby and to be extra vigilant near schools.’

To help reduce the number of children being involved in collisions near schools, the council introduced a £1,000 fine for anyone parked on yellow zigzag lines outside schools during school hours.

If drivers are seen stopping on zigzags – even if they stay in their car – they will receive a warning letter. If they do this again and get sent a second letter, they will also get a visit at home.

A courts summons will be served, where the maximum fine if found guilty is £1,000, on a third offence.

Portsmouth was also top for the highest proportion of cycling casualties with 499 followed again by Kingston upon Hull and Brighton and Hove.

Figures did not include London.