23 November 2012
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is giving away thousands of posters and leaflets as part of a campaign to alert parents and carers to the dangers children face on driveways.
Child on the Drive!, which was launched today, has been set up in response to RoSPA research, which shows that at least 25 children have been killed on, or near, the driveways of their homes since 2001. Seventeen of these accidents have occurred since 2007 and, tragically, in most cases, an adult member of the child’s family, a neighbour or a visitor was driving the vehicle.
Fourteen of the deaths occurred when a child was hit by a reversing vehicle and three when the vehicle rolled back after the handbrake was accidentally released. Most of the victims were toddlers aged between one and two.
A RoSPA survey carried out with the Iain Goodwill Trust in 2010 found that the majority of respondents were unaware of the potential for an accident involving their children and a car at home.
The new campaign is being funded by donations, including money raised from a video appeal by Mark Goodwill, the founder of the Iain Goodwill Trust, whose 17-month-old son was killed when he was struck by the family car in a driveway accident in 2007.
Families, carers and the organisations who work with them can now get free posters and leaflets to help raise awareness of the dangers posed to children by vehicles and driveways.
RoSPA has worked with Mark and Michelle Patterson, whose son Harry died last year when the family car rolled down the driveway, to develop these new resources. There is also a new section devoted to driveway safety on RoSPA’s website.
The campaign covers advice on taking care when reversing, not leaving children unattended in vehicles, parking in gear on slopes and keeping car keys away from the young.
Mark Goodwill said: “If parents and carers don’t think such an accident will happen to their family, then they don’t take simple precautions. We want to help more people to become aware of the risks, so they take appropriate action and don’t go through the terrible pain of losing a child.”
Lindsey Brough, RoSPA’s road safety research and evaluation officer, said: “These cases bring untold suffering to the families involved. Our message is simple: ‘Don’t let there be another death.’
“All drivers, including taxi and delivery drivers, need to remind themselves that small children can be easily hidden by vehicle blind spots. For parents, simple precautions such as checking and rechecking as you reverse a vehicle to make sure a child isn’t behind it, keeping parked cars locked, and talking to your children about practical safety near cars really can save lives.”
Anyone wanting to apply for free posters and leaflets should go to http://www.rospa.com/about/currentcampaigns/drivewaysafety/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.