Danger to children on roads near Bradford schools, report claims (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford is third worst in country for road injuries or fatalities to children near schools
6:00am Friday 30th August 2013 in News
Roads around Bradford schools are the third worst in the country for child collisions and injuries, according to claims made in a new safety index report.
Figures show that between 2006-2011, there were 1,477 child casualties within a 500m radius of the Bradford area’s 223 schools, with 229 of those incidents proving fatal or causing serious injury to the children involved.
When averaged out across the district, this number equates to 6.6 incidents per school across the six-year period, or more than one per school every year.
This places Bradford as the third most dangerous city in Britain for such incidents, excluding London.
Across the country, more than half-a-million collisions have taken place on local roads around British schools in the past six years, resulting in 85,814 child casualties with fatal, serious or slight injuries.
The survey, launched by insurance giant AXA, aims to help parents understand the risks associated with the roads around their local schools in order to keep their children safe.
In response to the figures, Simon D’Vali, Principal Engineer for Bradford and Chairman of West Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: “We always treat figures compiled by external organisations with some level of caution.
“The figures we have for the Bradford district show that in 2012 the number of children involved in road traffic collisions was down 37 from the year before to 255.
“Casualty reduction and promoting road safety is incredibly important to further reduce injuries and deaths on the roads in Bradford.
“It is not an unsafe place for children travelling to and from school and the figures from AXA are about an area around schools and is not specific to a school-generated trip.
“Bradford has a strong emphasis on multi- agency working and is seen nationally as an authority on casualty reduction best practice.
“We work closely with our partners such as public health, emergency services, local schools and the community to continually bring down casualty levels.”
One of the most high-profile road tragedies involving a child in recent years happened in October 2012 when 12-year-old Bilal Khizar was killed in a hit-and-run collision on Rooley Lane.
Zain Khan, 21, of Savile Park, Halifax, was sentenced on February 8 to seven-and-a-half years in prison for death by dangerous driving, perverting the course of justice and dangerous driving.
Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council's Executive Member for Housing, Planning and Transport, said: “We regard child safety as a priority which was why we put extra funding targeted at schools for this issue in this years budget.
“I share the caution regarding these figures coming from an insurance company, and am concerned that it gives a false impression that could cause anxiety.
“We know that going back to school and starting school are big events and we work hard to ensure that these journeys are as safe as possible.”
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