School run ‘more dangerous’ than stranger danger - survey

Sustrans launched campaign for safer routes to school

Forget gang-related crime and stranger danger, parents believe the bigger risk to their children is the school run, says Sustrans.

According to survey results the charity published yesterday to coincide with the launch of its safer streets campaign, more than 40 per cent of parents said their child had been involved in a near-miss with a vehicle while going to or from school.

The charity also cited 2012 figures that reported 33 children were killed and and 1,800 seriously injured while walking or cycling in 2012.

Sustrans’ Chief Executive, Malcolm Shepherd, said: “We must urgently make our roads safer for those children already making a healthy, active school run and also to encourage those who don’t feel safe enough to start walking or cycling.

“With today’s children the least physically active in history, and set to have shorter life expectancies than their parents because of this, shuttling kids to and from the school gate in the car is not the answer.

“Giving children the opportunity to walk, scoot or cycle the school run is vital to their health and wellbeing so making our roads safe enough that they can do this must be a top priority.

“As part of the Safer Street Camapign Sustrans is urging parents to write to their MP demanding “every child be given the right to a safe journey to school”.

The survey of 485 parents also found that 18 percent said their child had experienced a vehicle not stopping or stopping too late at a pedestrian crossing and 13 percent had experienced a speeding vehicle nearly hitting them. Five percent said their child had been hit by a vehicle while walking, and 28 per cent and two per cent of the group said they were concerned about danger posed by stranger and gang violence respectively.  

For more on Sustrans’ Safer Streets campaign visit www.sustrans.org.uk/safetoschool.

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