Thousands of pupils hurt on roads
More than 1,000 children a month are being injured on local roads around British schools, according to figures.
As many as 37% of local school areas had at least one child casualty each year from 2006 to 2011, the statistics from Axa Car Insurance and research body Road Safety Analysis showed.
In this six-year period, there were 85,814 child casualties on roads in a 500-metre radius around British schools, the equivalent of 1,190 a month. In addition, 20% of schools reported no child casualties in the period 2006-11.
The figures also showed that there were 557,200 vehicle collisions around schools in the period 2006 to 2011, the equivalent of six collisions per school per year on average. These collisions included any incident reported to police involving any vehicle on a local road. Some of these collisions did not result in injuries.
Top area for collisions in the six-year period was London, which accounted for 13% of the child casualties nationally and 22% of collisions overall.
Looking at cities with more than 100 schools, excluding London, the figures showed that from 2006 to 2011 Liverpool had the highest number of road injuries (deaths, serious injuries and slight injuries) around schools, followed by Nottingham, Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester.
Again excluding London, the city area with the most number of serious incidents (deaths and serious injuries) was Nottingham, followed by Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester.
Taking all collisions, including non-injury ones, into account, the school area with the most was Nottingham, followed by Manchester, Liverpool and Leicester. The area with the most child injuries was Manchester, followed by Liverpool, Bradford and Oldham. Among the lowest child casualty areas were Swansea and Cardiff.
Axa and Road Safety Analysis have now launched the local road safety index, showing which areas have the best safety records. The figures include collisions during school holidays and the child casualty numbers do not necessarily refer to pupils at that particular school.
Road safety minister Stephen Hammond said: "Road deaths are at a record low and child casualties have fallen considerably in recent years but I am determined to make our roads even safer. That is why we are improving road safety education resources for schools, making it easier for councils to put in place 20mph zones on their roads and are increasing fixed penalties for offences such as driving while using a mobile phone from £60 to £100. By combining education, enforcement and engineering measures such as these we will continue to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads."