A study by Axa Insurance has revealed road safety for children is affected dramatically by on the location of the school they attend.
The insurance broker looked at 85,814 child casualties between 2006 and 2011 outside London and then plotted the results based on the number of children injured or killed within 500 metres of schools, of which there are 29,142 in the UK.
It found a whopping 557,200 collisions occurred over the five year period – enough for six accidents per school – involving pupils under the age of 16.
Manchester – the UK car crime capital – saw an average of seven children being killed or sustaining an injury within a 500 metre radius, compared with the safest major city of Milton Keynes, where the average was 2.7 injuries or deaths.
Other cities up north were also not far behind Manchester. Liverpool scored an average of 6.8, while Bradford averaged 6.6, joint third place with Oldham. In fact, all of the top ten was occupied by cities in the Midlands and the north of England.
The study also looked at deaths, slight injuries and serious injuries within 500 metres in the capital. The worst borough was Barking & Dagenham, with 5.9 school children affected, followed by 5.3 for Newham.
Although the data does not make a distinction between school holidays and whether the children were pedestrians, passengers in a car or cycling to school, the data does paint a strong contrast between cities.
37 per cent of schools experienced one child injury within 500 metres of the premises, while 20 per cent reported no accidents at all.
Axa has released an interactive map that allows parents to type in their postcode to assess road safety levels. While the exact school is not given in a search and the data itself may not be entirely fair, it’s hoped parents can assess the dangers beforehand and take any necessary precautions.
Not everyone believes the results are accurate. “These figures are at best misleading, not least because they cover a time period during which there was a significant reduction in the number of road traffic accidents in Manchester,” Manchester councillor and executive member for neighbourhood services explained to the Telegraph.
“The number of collisions involving children travelling to and from school dropped by 86 per cent between 2006 and 2011 – a year in which there were only four such casualties. However, in Manchester we believe that a single child casualty is one too many, and while we share a responsibility with parents, we have done a huge amount of work to make our roads safer for children, for example by creating 20mph zones around all our schools and working with the police to spread the message in classrooms.
”We are now building on this by creating three large areas of the city with 20mph speed limits and during the autumn term we will begin using CCTV vehicles to deal with selfish motorists who park dangerously outside schools,” Priest added.
Local councils are starting to increase the number of 20mph zones in cities in a bid to improve road safety.
Deaths, serious injuries and light injuries within 500 metres of a school by area in the UK outside London 2006 to 2011
|Rank||Urban area||Child injuries|
Child deaths, serious and slight injuries within 500 metres of a school by area in London 2006-11
|1||Barking & Dagenham||5.9|