Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Walking Kids School 5-12 years Road Related Death Fatality Serious Injury Herald Sun

"Road-related trauma is the greatest cause of injury and fatality
for children 5-12 years of age"


"When children see the world from the back seat of a car, they do not have a very good perception of their neighbourhood and their pedestrian skills do not develop,"


"A study from British road safety charity Living Streets shows children driven to school 
do not learn to negotiate traffic 
and may be vulnerable when they do walk or ride in their neighbourhoods."


Make kids walk - it could save their lives

Kids walk
Walking bus group from St. John the Baptist Primary, Ferntree Gully. Source: Herald Sun
CHILDREN chauffeured to school by their parents are at greater risk of being hurt or killed in a road accident later in life, a report shows
A study from British road safety charity Living Streets shows children driven to school do not learn to negotiate traffic and may be vulnerable when they do walk or ride in their neighbourhoods.

Recent British figures show 28 10-year-olds were killed walking to school compared with 86 12-year-olds.

Experts say this is because many children making their own way to high school don't have any road experience because they were driven to primary school.

In Victoria more than 90 per cent of children at some schools are driven by their parents, creating traffic jams and dangerous bottle-necks.

VicHealth figures show on average up to 80 per cent of children are driven to school, compared with 20 years ago when just 30 per cent were.
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Kellie-Ann Jolly, director of Active Communities and Healthy Eating for VicHealth, said the findings were relevant to Victoria.

"When children see the world from the back seat of a car, they do not have a very good perception of their neighbourhood and their pedestrian skills do not develop," she said.

"By secondary school, when they are given the chance to walk, they haven't had a chance to develop those skills, which need to be built over a lifetime."

David Healy, senior manager of road safety at the Transport Accident Commission, said traffic-related injuries were among the greatest threat to young children.

"Road-related trauma is the greatest cause of injury and fatality for children 5-12 years of age," he said.

Regina Flinn, principal at St John the Baptist School in Ferntree Gully, agreed many parents were doing too much for their children.

"The more parents do for their children, the more disabled they become. If they are driven all the time they don't learn to watch the road for themselves," she said. "And the drop-off can be dangerous, as many parents drive around and around waiting for their children as they themselves don't want to even have to walk to the school gate."

St John the Baptist School has a successful walking bus program, where volunteer parents lead a group of kids to school, but the funding for the program past this year was in doubt, Ms Flinn said.

VicHealth is funding councils to co-ordinate walking school buses until 2010, but then councils and schools will have to pick up the tab.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/make-kids-walk-it-could-save-their-lives/story-e6frf7l6-1111116968014

http://petedoweroadsafetyadvocate.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/toddler-driveway-deaths-fatalities.html

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