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Child road deaths up 20%

28 June 2007

Child deaths have risen 20% since 2005, according to the latest Department for Transport statistics.

In total, 169 children died on UK roads last year - 20% more than in 2005.

There were 9% fewer child road casualties in total- but that still translates as just under 3300 children killed or seriously injured between 2005-2006.

The RAC Foundation's Edmund King said: 'Children are much more likely to die in a road accident than from drugs or violent crime. It's shocking that, in line with global trends, road accidents are the number one killer in the 10-24 age group in the UK.'

However, the overall number of people killed in road accidents fell by 1% last year compared with 2005. However, that still means 3172 people were killed in 2006.

The number of deaths among car users was 1612, 4% less than the previous year. The number of people seriously injured fell by 2%.

Government must do more
A survey released earlier this month showed that the UK was placed a poor 20th out of 27 European countries for road deaths.

The European Union set a target of reducing the number by half between 2001 and 2010.

While France has recorded the highest drop of the 27 nations analysed, with road deaths falling by a massive 35% between 2001 and 2005, the UK ranks just 20th, recording a paltry 7% drop in the same time period.

Last year's 1% drop in the UK is not enough to narrow that gap quickly.

Reaction to the statistics
Road safety charity Brake wants to see ring-fenced funding for specially designed 20mph safety zones to reduce driver speeds around schools and homes, where children walk and cycle.

It also wants increased investment in other road engineering measures such as pedestrian crossings and cycle paths, as well as compulsory, effective, road safety education for children of all ages and increased investment in traffic policing to ensure effective enforcement of child seat laws.

The head of safety at RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), Kevin Clinton, said 'These figures emphasise a real need to focus on making our roads safer for vulnerable people so that they can walk and cycle without fear.'

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