Charity calls for action on road safety

DriveSafe “shocked” by big rise in child road deaths.

Road safety charity DriveSafe & StaySafe has called for a national focus on road safety education after a big rise in the number of children killed on Britain’s roads.

The not-for-profit organisation behind The Conies, a family of cartoon characters that provide safety role models for children, has been shocked by the steep rise.

The number of under-15s killed on UK roads rose to 69 in 2016, up 28% on the previous year and the highest number since 2009, according to Department for Transport figures. The Government has stated that these show “no clear trend”.

Fay Goodman, Director of Birmingham-based DriveSafe & StaySafe, said: “This is shocking news. Contrary to the government’s response, the annual figure for child deaths and serious injuries on the roads has been rising in recent years following twenty years of year-on-year falls since 1995. We urgently need to do more to keep our children safe particularly in the face of dangerous driving behavior and parking around school gates.”

Fay says she created The Conies as a registered charity to help keep children safe: “We wanted to educate primary school children in road safety with the help of fun characters they could identify with. The Conies feature in our workbooks for schools which embrace issues from how to get to school safely on foot or by bus, car or bike to managing distractions and stranger danger.”

The road safety training concept was piloted earlier this year to 3,300 primary school children in high-risk areas of Birmingham who learned safety messages from a Conies ‘Walking to School Safely’ workbook. The pilot proved so successful that it is to be rolled out to three more areas of the city in January 2018.

Fay added: “With the support of the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership, we aim to bring our Walking to School Safely journal to the wider Midlands.”