Friday, 17 July 2015

Kids and cars >>> the Walking School Bus >>>>> "improving road safety around the school"

In last week's Herald, a piece looked at the safety issues around the school-run in the County:

Figures show school-run risk to children

06:30 08 July 2015

Sidmouth’s children are at the most risk of being hit by a car while leaving school - but campaigners and county highways chiefs are divided on the best way to keep youngsters safe.

Figures show that, in 2013, there were 21 accidents in Sidmouth - and in five of those hurt were children.

Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) says the answer is for parents to make simple changes to routines.

Devon County Council (DCC) says the solution is to encourage better driving.

However, both agree that most road accidents happen between 3pm and 3.30pm, in the after-school rush.

Katrina Phillips, CAPT chief executive, said: “These can be devastating injuries. A child can suffer brain damage, if hit by a car. Simple changes can protect children from serious harm.”

Jeremy Phillips, DCC’s road casualty education manager, said older children were at the greatest risk, adding: “The risk of a road traffic collision increases with age for young people. So, of those injured on the journey home, many would be of secondary school age, travelling independently from their parents. In Devon, the common factor is the presence of a motor vehicle.

“So our greatest chance of reducing casualty numbers for children and all other road users is to improve the performance of those drivers.”

He said that 38 per cent of children injured were passengers, while cars were involved in 84 per cent of all injury collisions. And 91 per cent of those incidents resulted in the most serious injuries.

Mr Phillips added: “We call on all motorists to be vigilant, moderate their speed and give young people space at any time, but most especially during the mid-to-late-afternoon period. The journey home from school can take longer, may be a mix of ‘commuting’ and recreation, and motorists need to moderate their driving to account for the presence of young people when travelling at this time.”

Figures show school-run risk to children - News - Sidmouth Herald
Home | Child Accident Prevention Trust

There are other issues, as this piece from the Mail last year shows:

School run killing planet, says greens: Campaigners say parents ferrying their children to the gates 'costs the Earth'


> Environmental transport charity Sustrans says pupils should walk or cycle
84 balloons worth of Co2 is released into the atmosphere every time a child is driven to primary school and back, charity says
> Journeys to school responsible for 363,075 tonnes of CO2, it adds
> More than 1,520 schools have signed up to take part in The Big Pedal 2014

School run killing planet, says green party campaigners say parents ferrying children | Daily Mail Online

Some councils are offering safe alternatives:

Children take the fresh air alternative to the school run
January 30, 2012

Children in Lapworth will soon be able to take a healthier route to school on the Walking Bus.

Thanks to the commitment of parents and the headteacher from Lapworth Church of England Primary School, a fresh air alternative to the school run will soon be available in the mornings.

The Walking Bus will take children and trained parent volunteers from a designated ‘bus stop’ on the outskirts of the village, with an additional ‘stop’ half way along the route, then on to the primary school.

The estimated ten minute walk will give children a chance to socialise with others, gain valuable road safety awareness and get some exercise before school.

Headteacher Colette Hatton said: “We are very pleased to be able to offer the walking bus as a fun, healthy and eco-friendly way for our pupils to travel to school.”

Many schools in Warwickshire have problems with congestion outside their schools at the start and end of each day. The Walking Bus, organised by Warwickshire County Council’s Sustainable Travel Team, is a great way to help tackle school gate congestion and thereby improve road safety around the school site on Station Lane, and in addition, walking in a large group can be great fun for children as well.

The school intends to launch the walking bus after half term and it is hoped that the popularity may mean more children will choose to walk to school rather than being driven and dropped off outside the school gates.

Children take the fresh air alternative to the school run – Warwickshire News

Walking School Bus

No comments: