Extra care around roads and driveways

Kidsafe Victoria is urging all road users to take extra care (supplied).

As Victorian students, including those in Sunbury and Macedon Ranges, prepare to return to school, Kidsafe Victoria is urging all road users to take extra care to reduce the number of transport related deaths and serious injuries.

The call comes as statistics show that Victoria experienced its worst road toll last year for 15 years.

Transport related incidents- which include child pedestrians and passengers- continue to be a leading cause of injury-related deaths and hospitalisations for children.

Kidsafe Victoria general manager Jason Chambers emphasised the importance of road safety during the busy back-to-school period.

“Roads are designed with adults in mind, but it’s important to remember that children aren’t ‘little adults,” he said.

“They lack traffic experience, cognitive development, and are smaller in stature, which makes them more vulnerable to injury.”

An area of particular concern is the home driveway and carparks, where many school-day journeys begin and end.

Each year in Australia, an average of seven children aged under 14 years are killed, and 60 are seriously injured due to driveway run-over incidents.

“School hours see an influx of excited and exhausted children around roads, car parks, and driveways, especially during pick-up and drop-off times,” said Mr Chambers.

“Children are naturally inquisitive and remarkably quick and mobile.

“When combined with the substantial blind spots that exist behind all vehicles, it can be difficult for a driver to spot a child behind a reversing vehicle.”

Kidsafe Victoria is also reminding parents and carers of the critical role that correctly installed and used child car restraints and booster seats play in protecting children during car journeys.

“Even though children will have grown since last year and may appear tall, most kids up to the age of 10-12 still require a booster seat to ensure their safety in the event of a collision,” said Mr Chambers.

“Statistics show that the risk of serious injury for children who can still fit in a booster seat but don’t use one can be up to 3.5 times higher.

“It’s safest to keep children in booster seats until they outgrow the size limit.”

Tips and tricks surrounding road safety can be found on the Kidsafe Victoria website.

Details: www.kidsafevic.com.au/road-safety/