BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Thursday, 29 June, 2000, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Rise in child road deaths
Children
Campaigners say road casualty figures are not accurate
The numbers of children and cyclists killed on the UK's roads rose sharply last year.

Although the annual road toll rose by just two deaths to 3,423, government figures released on Thursday showed the number of children killed had risen 7% to 221 and fatal accidents involving cyclists rose 9% to 172.

Road toll
3,423 deaths - up 2 on 1998
221 children died - up 7%
172 cyclists killed - up 9%
36 child cyclists died - up 13%
320,310 casualties - down 2%
Of these, 36,122 were seriously injured - down 4% - and 277,765 slightly injured - down 1%
The rise coincides with a 5% increase in cycle traffic. Road safety campaigners said the figures showed that the roads were increasingly dangerous.

Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, gave the overall figures, which show a minor drop, a cautious welcome.

However, the lack of reduction in deaths showed it would be difficult to meet the government's goal of a 40% cut in 10 years, he said.

"We need to concentrate on reducing pedestrian deaths in urban areas and car occupant deaths on rural roads," he said.

"The government must ensure that adequate money is spent by local authorities on traffic calming in towns and villages."

children
Child casualties are on the rise

Brigitte Chaudhry, secretary of RoadPeace, a charity for road victims, said: "While a 2% drop in official road casualty figures is welcome, the 7% rise in child fatalities gives an indication of the increasingly dangerous situation on our roads."

Ms Chaudhry questioned whether the figures represented an accurate picture of road safety.

She said: "According to a study by the Transport Research Laboratory, which compared hospital with police data, official seriously injured figures ought to be multiplied by 2.76 and slightly injured by 1.7 to take account of gross under-reporting and misclassification."

Ms Chaudhry said it was alarming that road deaths had gone up despite victims only being recorded if they had died within 30 days of an accident, as opposed to deaths from assault, which can qualify 366 days after an attack.

"Ways must be found to inform all road users of the real road casualty figures and therefore the real danger they face."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

26 Nov 99 | UK Politics
Fury at speeding climbdown
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories