Child safety on roads

THE 20’s Plenty for Worthing campaign says that new data has shown that School Safety Zones are not the key areas for injuries to children.

It shows that from 2005 to 2010 there have been 271 injuries to children (0-16 years old) on Worthing’s roads, 32 of them serious. Of these, 163 (60 per cent) have been to children who were walking or cycling.

A map showing exactly where all these injuries occurred was compared to the School Safety Zones covering 21 schools. Only eight of these injury locations were covered – and these may have happened during holidays or outside the times when zone lights were flashing.

The campaign said it was told by the county council: “Because the SSZs are not primarily designed or intended to be improvements to address casualty reduction pre and post implementation casualty data has not been used in the evaluation of the project.”

It added that the zones were part of its approach to ‘Behavioural Change’ – aiming to encourage more children to walk or cycle to school.

A campaign spokesperson said: “The county council has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax payers’ money on School Safety Zones yet they cover just two miles of Worthing’s roads and they don’t even know if they make things safer.

“This is not good enough. If we want to encourage children to walk or cycle to school we need to make the roads for the whole of their journey safe. We should also make our streets safer for our children during evenings and holiday times.

“For collisions in Worthing involving children, 88 per cent were on roads with 30mph speed limits, and 67 per cent were on unclassified, B or C roads – precisely the roads which the 20’s Plenty campaign is targeting. We need 20mph speed limits on all residential roads to make it safer for our children, for everyone.