Road safety bosses are reigniting a campaign to improve child safety after streets near Sheffield schools were named among the country’s most dangerous.
Data collected over six years placed the city fifth-worst in a rundown of the number of people injured or killed within 500 metres of a secondary or primary school.
The UK-wide study, released ahead of pupils’ return from the summer break, revealed that for every school area in Sheffield there were 4.6 people of all ages killed or injured between 2006 and 2011. But the figure rises to an average of 5.1 for children alone. And experts warn that factors such as increased vehicle use mean the numbers are likely to rise.
South Yorkshire’s Road Safety Partnership has promised to step up efforts to improve child safety across the region as part of the It’s Your Child campaign – backed by The Star.
Work to ensure all zig-zag lines and double yellow line parking restrictions outside schools are enforceable by law in south and east Sheffield, singled out as a high-priority area, has been completed ahead of the new term.
Officers will be patrolling schools across the city in the coming weeks as they get tougher on irresponsible motorists breaking the rules.
Inspector Ian Stubbs, who has led the It’s Your Child Campaign, said: “We are aware of the problem and clearly a lot of work is being done to try and tackle it.
“It’s the reason we started the It’s Your Child campaign – it’s a three-year-long project.
“When you look at figures for child casualties outside schools they can seem fairly low but to us, schools and parents, just one is too many.”
South Yorkshire Police are going into schools from September to deliver training to five- to seven-year-olds to teach them how to be safety-aware. Parents and drivers have also been asked to do their bit to drive casualties down.
Stay safe on the roads
South Yorkshire Safer Roads tips to improve child safety:
* Never park on zig zags – they provide a clear space for pedestrians to cross
* Avoid parking on pavements – this can force pedestrians into the road
* Always stop for school crossing patrols – they are working to make the roads safer for pedestrians
* Ask yourself if you really need to park directly outside the school gate. It is often safer to park a short distance away
* Always choose a safer place cross, even if it means walking slightly further
* Be bright, be seen – light coloured clothing and reflective items make your child more visible to other road users
* Always stop at the kerb and don’t be tempted to push a buggy into the road in front of you