It only takes a split second for a car accident involving a child to occur, but the ramifications can last a lifetime. The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that each year more than 200 pedestrians are killed on Australian roads, and almost one third of all fatal accidents occur on roads with a speed limit of up to 60km/h.
With thousands of children returning to school, leading cheap car insurance provider Budget Direct would like to warn motorists to slow down and stay “alert” for children on roads and footpaths.
Communications person for Budget Direct Richelle Ward said young children, particularly those under 12 years of age, are still learning the fundamentals of road, bike and footpath safety, and they simply cannot be relied upon to adhere to safety at all times.
“Mastering how to control a pushbike can be a task in itself let alone worrying about what’s happening on the road,” Ms Ward said.
“As adults in the community we need to be mindful of children stepping out from behind school buses, their limited understanding of pedestrian intersections and simply carelessly crossing a road.”
Across Australia reduced speed limits used at school zones are heavily enforced by police and are there for the safety of everyone. In 50 through to 80km/h zones the limit is reduced to 40km/h during peak school hours and motorists risk hefty fines if they are caught speeding in school zones.
“Injury and death related accidents can happen in a heartbeat and the long-term affects can impact heavily on all involved, so these laws are in place for a very good reason.”
There are some simple and efficient road safety initiatives in place that are beneficial for children, parents and motorists. One idea is a “walking school bus,” which involves adults walking on a chosen route to school and collecting children from designated locations along the way. As the children are in larger groups they are easier to see and there is parental supervision, not to mention great exercise.
Budget Direct suggests the following safety tips for motorists:
- Obey the school zone speed limits
- Watch out for children exiting buses and cars
- Concentrate when you are near a school
- Be careful when nearing corners and bends
For more information about cheap car insurance go to www.budgetdirect.com.au.