Help us to reduce annual rise in child road deaths

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British Summer Time has officially arrived, as the clocks went forward an hour at 1am on Sunday morning (March 29).

So as the country makes its “spring forward” and with the easter school holidays looming, Nottinghamshire County Council is reminding motorists to take extra care on the roads as children begin to play out in the evenings.

“It’s that time of year when the county’s children traditionally start to come out of hibernation, as it were,” said Zena Oliver, the county council’s principal road safety officer.

“They’ve spent the winter months cooped up indoors and with the arrival of the lighter evenings will be raring to be off and out, making the most of that extra daylight.

“Initially it’ll be light until nearly 7.30pm and getting progressively later quite quickly as the weeks go by. That means there will, naturally, be an increase in the number of children out playing.”

In Nottinghamshire, the overall number of accidents resulting in children being killed or seriously injured has decreased steadily over recent years with a fall of 
47.7 per cent in 2013 compared to the 2005-2009 average.

However, statistics for 2009 to 2013 show that 38 per cent of accidents 
resulting in child casualties occur between the hours 
of 3pm and 6pm – traditionally the gap between the 
end of the school day and teatime.

And the figure starts to go up in the spring months as the evenings get lighter, rising to a peak in July and September – the two worst months for child casualty accidents.

“With that in mind and with the lighter evenings coming, all road users need to take extra care, not only on main roads but, especially, in built-up residential areas,” added Zena.

Motorists are advised to be aware of children using roads, both as cyclists and as pedestrians, watch out for children attempting to cross between parked cars, watch out for children playing around parks and open spaces and remember that they can become easily distracted.

Parents are asked to 
remind their child to give 
the road their full attention, ensure they choose a safe place to play – not the road, ensure their child is familiar with the route they will be taking and the safer crossing places available, make sure they take off headphones and switch off phones when crossing the road.

Parents are also advised to ensure their children wear a cycle helmet and light/bright clothing when cycling.

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