With the soaring temperatures in recent weeks and the school summer holidays in full swing, children will be outdoors at every opportunity. In residential areas, the only option some children have is to play out on their street and some of these streets are likely to be 30mph speed zones.
Shockingly, the residential streets of the Blackburn and Darwen Borough have the highest figure in the UK for under 16’s killed or badly injured on the roads. Statistics from Public Health England report that the rates for 0-15 year olds have remained fairly static over recent years. The 2009/11 statistic stands at 47.9 per 100,000, which is more than double the national average and officially the highest rate in the UK. The majority of children killed or injured are pedestrians or cyclists and older victims are more likely to be the drivers or front-seated passengers. Clearly, these shocking statistics require action.
We recently reported on new 20mph speed zones that were in the process of being rolled out over Lancashire. However, the new Labour leadership of Lancashire County Council has yet to enact some 35 out of 88 low speed zones in our area. These include 4 in the Pendle area, 7 in Burnley and 10 in Rossendale. The campaign lead by the Lancashire Telegraph “Slower speeds, safer children’ is supported by road safety campaigners in the region and aims to make the Council listen and turn the proposals into reality in the hope that the fatality figures will decrease.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents reported that an adult pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 30mph has a 20% chance of being fatally injured compared to a 2.5% chance if the car is travelling at 20mph. Children are obviously at a greater risk of being fatally injured compared to an adult. Therefore, travelling at lower speed can mean the difference between life and death.
If your child has been injured as a pedestrian or as a passenger in vehicle, our experienced personal injury solicitors may be able to help you to pursue a claim for compensation against the responsible party. If you would like to discuss making a child accident claim with one of our experts today, please don’t hesitate to contact us.