INDEPENDENT NEWS

Parents urged to be “part of the solution”

Published: Fri 11 Oct 2002 08:22 AM
Parents urged to be “part of the solution”
ACC has issued invitations this week asking tens of thousands of parents to be “part of the solution” when it comes to reducing this country’s high child pedestrian injury rates.
The Corporation has sent the invitations to more than 700 primary schools due to participate in ACC Walk Me Home Day on Friday 18 October.
Caregivers are being invited to leave their cars home that day in favour of a walk home from school with their children.
ACC chief executive Garry Wilson says the day has been organised to highlight the “appalling” child pedestrian injury rate.
17 young lives on average are lost annually and another 300 children are admitted to hospitals each year after being struck by vehicles.
The day also launches this year’s focus on pedestrian safety issues for Kidsafe Week, the national child safety week.
“The costs in terms of lost life, grief to family and friends, time in hospital and rehabilitation are just too high. And, pedestrian injuries can so easily be prevented,” says Mr Wilson.
He’s delighted with the initial response from schools to ACC Walk Me Home Day and their efforts to encourage adults to walk children home.
He believes many will use the day to draw attention to parking and pedestrian safety issues around their schools, and launch or establish safer walking programmes for students.
Mr Wilson says research shows children who walk alone are nearly three times more likely to be hit by a vehicle than those accompanied by an adult.
He said parents and other caregivers could help keep kids safe simply by walking them to and from school.
ACC has chosen to highlight the walk home because it’s the most dangerous time on the roads for primary school aged children.
Nearly 40% of child pedestrians injured are struck down after school.
A number of factors contribute to this including traffic congestion around many schools, tired children and drivers and busy roads.
A list of schools participating in ACC Walk Me Home Day can be found through a link at http://www.kidsafe.org.nz/2002/media.html

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