Friday, 4 September 2009

Child related road collisions halved in last ten years

Child related traffic collisions in Swansea have more than halved in the last ten years, according to the latest statistics.

Swansea Council has confirmed that road related collisions involving children between 0 and 15 years old have dropped to just 82 in 2008. On average, 165 children in the same age category were involved in similar incidents during 1994 to 1998.

The latest figures also show a steady decrease in the number of road related collisions involving young people between the ages of 16 and 25. In 2006 the figure stood at 410. This has now been reduced to 300.

Road safety officers in Swansea Council say the reductions are partly down to improved roads where the Council has implemented traffic calming measures such as safe crossing points near schools.

A more structured approach to road safety education for children has also helped reduce the figure.

Funding provided to the Council from the Welsh Assembly Government helps to provide education in schools such as the Kerbcraft scheme. The scheme provides five to seven-year-olds with practical roadside skills and has been provided in Swansea for a number of years.

John Hague, Cabinet Member for the Environment in Swansea Council, said: "These figures clearly illustrate the success we are having in passing on vital road safety knowledge to hundreds of young children in Swansea.

"We have also implemented lower 20 mph speed limits near schools and this is helping to slow down traffic and provide a safer environment for children and local residents."

Road safety officers also work with schools to access Safer Routes in Communities funding which can help provide safe walking and cycling routes near local schools.

Swansea has also had huge success in encouraging young drivers to enrol on the Pass Plus Cymru course, which provides new drivers with improved skills and experience behind the wheel.

Jeff Green, Swansea Council's Road Safety Officer, said: "We're really pleased that our work with young people and schools is having a positive impact.

"It is vital that young children are provided with effective road safety knowledge at a young age. The only way we can do that is by working with schools, parents and agencies such as local police."

The improvements and reductions have been welcomed by local police who work with the Council to provide better road safety education to children in Swansea schools.

Acting Chief Inspector Nigel Whitehouse, from South Wales Police, said: "It is obvious there have been significant improvements and efforts to improve road safety in Swansea.

"The reductions in collision statistics for all age groups prove that working together with the local council and other partner agencies such as the fire service is having a dramatic effect. I am really pleased with the results which go a long way to achieving our goal of making Swansea a safer place for all."


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