Seven children were killed on Scotland’s roads last year, according to new figures released by Transport Scotland. This is an increase on 2010, when four children died as a result of road accidents.
Accident charity ROSPA has called the increase ‘disappointing’, particularly given that the number of children seriously injured in reported road accidents fell slightly from 223 to 203, and the overall number of child casualties (killed, seriously injured or slightly injured) fell from 1,378 to 1,315.
The figures have been published shortly after the latest Child Safety Report Cards were released. These are a European-led initiative aimed at reducing the number of children and adolescents killed as a result of injury.
The initiative examined the causes of accidental death to children in 31 countries around Europe, between 2007 and 2009, and found that in Scotland road traffic accidents still account for most child deaths, particularly among 15-19-year-olds. Over the three year period there were 12.28 driver/passenger deaths per 100,000 population for males and 5.63 driver/passenger deaths per 100,000 population for females.
But it’s not all bad news. Overall, the number of people killed and injured in road accidents in Scotland fell between 2010 and 2011 to a record low, says Transport Scotland. There were 186 road deaths in total during 2011; 11% fewer than in 2010. There were 1,873 seriously injured casualties, down 5% on the previous year, and a drop of 4% in the number of people who were slightly injured (10,704).
Personally, while I welcome the progress made in making the roads safer, my thoughts are with the victims of road traffic accidents, and their families. Seven child fatalities – 186 fatalities overall – will have left 186 devastated families struggling to cope. It’s still far too many. The more we can do to prevent such accidents from happening, the better.