Me and my friends at Thompsons are happy to see any initiatives which help reduce the number of road traffic accidents. This week is Road Safety Week and it is organised by Brake, the road safety charity, but is a community event open to all, with thousands of participants including schools, companies, emergency services, and community groups. The theme for 2010 is 'Kids Say Slow Down'.
I was shocked to read that although child road casualties have generally been decreasing over the past 10 years, we have been making less progress than other European Countries in reducing the number of children hurt in road traffic accidents. A survey by Brake found that shockingly 1 in 10 children in Scotland has been hit by a car or a bicycle before the age of 13. At least 13% of 11 to 13 year olds and 6% of nine to 11 year olds said that they had been hit by a vehicle whist out walking or cycling. More than 50% of the children reported that they have been involved in a “near miss” accident whilst 22% of 9 to 11 year olds and 11% of 11 to 13 year olds said they had suffered a scary experience with traffic.
Brake has been calling for a government strategy to make it safer for children to walk and cycle near their homes and school. Last year in Scotland 371 children were seriously injured in road traffic accidents and 25 children were sadly killed.