Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, has announced that he is supporting a campaign to reduce the number of accidents around schools in the UK and encourage local communities to help develop solutions to road safety issues in their area, based on new data published today.
The new figures, drawn from an analysis of more than 200,000 pieces of data from the Department for Transport, carefully analyse the specific problems faced by road users around schools – for example, a high prevalence of accidents involving cyclists, or people using mobile technology. It also analyses which age groups are particularly vulnerable to being involved in a road traffic accident.
68 per cent of all child road traffic incidents between 2008 and 2013 were found to have happened in the 500m around schools in the UK. Although the past three years have seen the total number of accidents fall by nine per cent, from 265,152 (2008-10) to 241,008 (2011-13), six of the 11 regions in the UK have seen an increase in the proportion of accidents around schools in the past three years (2011-13), compared to the previous three (2008-11).
Following the publication of the data, AXA has also launched the first road safety crowdfunding campaign to enable local communities to source funds and help pay for the vital road safety initiatives identified as being needed around schools – helping to further reduce the number of casualties on the roads.
Anybody from a parent or local road safety officer, to schools, local campaigners, local authorities or businesses can use the service to pay for things like the printing costs following a school road safety drawing competition, funding a lollipop person or the funding of a pedestrian crossing.
A dedicated team at www.crowdfunder.co.uk will help every project get off the ground, offering ongoing help and guidance to reach their funding target. As part of the programme, AXA Insurance has committed an initial £10,000 which will be used to ‘match-fund’ the projects and get them funded.
Commenting, Jim Fitzpatrick MP said: “Road safety in Poplar and Limehouse is an incredibly important issue. The number of road accidents in the UK, whilst falling, is still too high and we need to do all we can to support parents, schools and councils understand the risks and take steps to address them. The AXA Local Road Safety Map is a vital tool in highlighting where the dangers are, and I warmly welcome the work being done by AXA to match-fund road safety initiatives. This funding not only encourages local communities to work together to bring down the number of accidents on their local roads, but also provides much needed resource when local authority budgets are under increasing financial pressures.”
James Barclay of AXA Insurance, commented: “Local road safety is high on the agenda of every household. Nobody wants to hear about any child or adult injured let alone anybody who is killed as a result of a road incident. We firmly believe that more understanding, and therefore a real understanding of the risk on our roads is vital to continue the fall in those affected by road incidents. That’s why we are hoping that the AXA Local Road Safety Map will aid locals, parents, schools, councils and interested parties in to doing small things that can make a very big, positive difference to our lives.”
Richard Owen, director of Road Safety Analysis, commented: “Compiling data and information is one thing, but putting meaning behind it and helping to develop ways in which more lives can be saved, is something very powerful.
“We believe that today’s launch and the data behind it builds on AXA’s initial work within road safety and we hope to see a further reduction in traffic casualties as a result.”