Child road injuries rise

Picture Martin Bostock'Sergeant Tony Berry (right) and PC Andy Scarisbrick monitoring motorists speeds on the A584 Freckleton by pass. / mobile speed camera
Picture Martin Bostock'Sergeant Tony Berry (right) and PC Andy Scarisbrick monitoring motorists speeds on the A584 Freckleton by pass. / mobile speed camera
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The number of children killed or seriously injured on Lancashire’s roads has increased, new figures today revealed.

Government research across the Lancashire Police force area shows the number rose from 55 in the 12 months to September 2013 to 66 in 
2014.

The annual figure for child deaths and serious injuries on roads in Britain has also increased– for the first time in 20 years.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said while the figure had risen, the authority remains “totally committed” to improving safety.

He added: “Making sure children and young people stay safe on our roads is one of the county council’s highest priorities.

“Our road safety team works closely with schools and other organisations such as the police and fire and rescue service on a wide range of road safety initiatives.

“They include the Twenty’s Plenty campaign, which received national recognition, the Lancashire road watch scheme (where volunteers work with police officers to man speed guns), and mobile speed enforcement.

“All schools and colleges can use road safety, bus safety and sustainable travel packages.

“Practical training is also available for younger children through the Right Start programme, developed by the county council’s road and transport safety team.

“The programme is designed for use with children between the ages of four and seven, and involves schools and parents working in partnership to enable children to become safer pedestrians.

“Unfortunately, the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads both locally and nationally has risen.

“Nationally, the number of young people between the age of 0 and 15 killed or seriously injured went up by three per cent from September 2013 to 2014. In Lancashire, the number went up from 55 to 66. While this represents an increase, it is still lower than five years ago and we remain totally committed to reducing the number of people killed and injured in our roads.”

Releasing the national statistics, the Department for Transport said the number of children killed or seriously injured rose in each quarter of 2014 compared with the same periods in 2013.

Meanwhile, experts and motoring groups have blamed the first full year rise since 1995 nationally on parents failing to properly secure their children in cars.

The number of youngsters killed or seriously injured rose by three per cent to 2,060 in the year to September 2014.

The AA described the figures as ‘shocking’ and pointed to a study by the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory that found that 13 per cent of child passengers were not properly restrained.