Road Safety GB North East is appealing for all road-users to slow down and look out for each other during the coming weeks, on the back of data which shows that pedestrians are more likely to be involved in a road collision in the run up up to Christmas.
Drivers are being urged to cut their speed around schools, playgrounds, shopping centres and pubs, and people on foot are being reminded to use pedestrian crossings wherever possible, not to take chances, and to wear bright clothes.
Almost a third of pedestrian accidents happen between October and December, with 7am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm the most prevalent times of day.
With children accounting for a third of the region’s pedestrian casualties, the North East’s 12 local authority road safety officers work with schools throughout the year to advise children how to stay safe on the roads. Boys aged 11-12 years are the most likely age group to be injured.
Almost a quarter of adult pedestrian casualties are found to have been impaired by alcohol – with this figure rising sharply in collisions that occur between 10pm and 6am.
Paul Watson, chairman of Road Safety GB North East,, said: “Now is the time when we see a spike in pedestrian casualties on our roads, so we want everyone to slow down and to take a few extra seconds to look out for each other.
“In the five years between 2011 and 2015, 88 pedestrians were killed on the region’s roads, and more than 1,000 were seriously injured. We know casualty figures for pedestrians are steadily coming down, but we would like to see them reduce even further.”
Paul Watson said failure to look properly, by either the pedestrian or driver, was the main cause of collisions involving people on foot, and 77% of incidents involving children were down to a child simply not looking.
Most pedestrian casualties (86%) happen on 30mph urban roads and almost half of those are on unclassified or estate roads.
Between 2011 and 2015, the highest number of pedestrian casualties in the north east were seen in County Durham and Newcastle.
Paul Watson added: “Some children simply run out into the road without looking. Adults may be too embroiled in their phones to look up when crossing the road, or impaired by alcohol. We are asking everyone to slow down whether they are driving or walking, and make sure they look about them.
“When it comes to pedestrian casualties, they tend to suffer greater injuries than anybody else, therefore it’s paramount that people drive within the speed limit. It could save a life."