Big increase in children hurt on roads

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

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The number of children killed or seriously injured on Lincolnshire’s road has doubled in the past two years.

Latest figures from Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership show 32 children were seriously injured in 2012, with one child killed.

In 2010, there were no children killed and 22 were seriously injured, rising to 29 serious injuries in 2011.

John Siddle, of LRSP, said it was hard to know what had caused the increase but by studying the information surrounding the figures it was clear that many of the accidents were as a result of children making mistakes.

These included playing in the road, misusing pedestrian crossings, ignoring crossing signals and misjudging the speed of approaching vehicles.

Mr Siddle said: “Some, if not all, of these accidents could have been prevented.

“That is why it is so important for us to go into schools and spread the road safety message.

“It is all about education and making sure children learn how to cross the road safely.

“A person’s peripheral vision is not fully developed until they are about 21, so children may not be so aware of what is happening around them.

“They need to be taught to look around properly and make safe decisions when crossing the road.”

A one per cent a year increase in the number of cars using the county’s roads could also be a factor, as could the popularity with many young people of using iPods or similar devices to listen to music through earphones while walking in the street.

Mr Siddle said: “We can never say for sure that any incident where a child is seriously injured is as a result of them not being fully aware of what is going on around them because they had earphones in or were texting, for example, but it is more than possible.”