Child Pedestrians (aged 0-16 years)
Over the last thirty years, the UK has had a good record of reducing casualties. The UK ranked third in Europe in terms of safety in 2020 – when ranked by the number of road deaths per million inhabitants (24.4). The only countries with a better rate were Norway (17.3 road deaths per million) and Sweden (19.8 road deaths per million).
Road safety of children has improved faster than the rest of the population across Europe. However, in Great Britain in 2020, Fifty two children aged 16 or under still died as the result of a collision and over 2000 were seriously injured on our roads. Many of the those children seriously injured would sustain injuries that would be life changing.
Child pedestrian fatalities account for almost a half of all child fatalities in the 0-16 year age band (25 fatalities in 2020). It is therefore important that road crossing skills are taught from the earliest possible opportunity. Generally, children under the age of 10 years lack the life experience and cognitive ability to accurately judge the distance and speed of approaching traffic. Anything that can help children enhance the development of these skills is encouraged by Road Safety GB, including parents involving their children in the discussions around decision making at the roadside and structured, practical pedestrian training.
Road Safety GB supports the government’s promotion of road safety educational resources through the THINK! Campaign targeting specific age groups from 3 to 16 years with relevant material related to children’s learning development.
Road Safety GB also encourages parents to accept responsibility for their actions and their behaviours and how this can impact their children while out and about near the highway.
Be bright, be seen
Road Safety GB supports the national Be Bright, Be Seen campaign and similar campaigns used by many local authorities. We urge all road users to make sure they can see and be seen more easily as a way to reduce their vulnerability. Pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse-riders will benefit from wearing fluorescent clothes during the day and reflective materials at night.
Drivers and riders should ensure their vehicles’ lights work properly and are kept clean, whilst pedestrians and other road users can use lights to attract the attention of drivers to their presence. In addition to the requirements in the Highway Code for the use of lights, strobe or flashing lights can be helpful by creating a sense of movement to attract drivers’ attention.
Last updated: 23 February 2022