Department for Transport figures published today reveal that as many as 1,932 children were seriously injured while walking and cycling in 2013.
48 children under 15 were tragically killed on the roads in traffic incidents, with an average of five serious incidents involving kids recorded daily. With the inclusion of everyone, an average of five deaths and 59 serious injuries happen daily on all roads.
Cyclists made up six per cent of all fatalities on the road, with 109 killed in 2013, an eight per cent decline year-on-year. Walkers meanwhile accounted for 398 fatalities on the road.
Cyclist fatalities have fluctuated between roughly 100 and 120 over the last six years; thus it is not possible to tell whether this latest change is simply a one-off fluctuation or part of a longer term trend.
The DfT report suggests that casualties are down two per cent year-on-year, despite an increase in traffic levels. The majority of fatalities occur on non-built up roads, while serious injuries mostly occured within built up areas.
Sustrans head of policy, Claire Francis, said: “While this year has seen an overall decrease in the number of children killed and seriously injured on our roads, several young lives were still tragically lost in traffic incidents.
“Every child road death is one too many and it is shocking and unacceptable that on average more than four children are killed or seriously injured while walking or cycling each day. The tragedy is even greater when such a simple solution is at our fingertips – urgent action is needed to make our roads safer by making dedicated funding available, lowering traffic speeds and transforming local walking and cycling routes.
“The unseen consequence of these figures is a growing fear among parents that the roads are too dangerous for their children to walk and cycle. Every child has the right to walk and cycle safely; it’s time the government made this a reality – it’s a matter of life and death.”
To read the DfT report, see here.