City road deaths at a record low

THE number of people killed or injured on Glasgow roads is at its lowest since records began in the 1930s.

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Last year, for the second year running, no children were killed on Glasgow's streets
Last year, for the second year running, no children were killed on Glasgow's streets

And last year - for the second year running - no children were killed in road accidents in the city.

Overall the number of youngsters seriously injured in 2013 was 13 - down 17 on the previous year.

Last year, four adults were killed and 156 seriously injured on the roads.

Brian Devlin, the city council's executive director of land and environmental services, said: "Glasgow has a long history of improvements in road safety and it is worth noting that road casualty statistics are at the lowest since records began in the 1930s."

This year, the council plans to introduce a new scheme called the Glasgow School Road Safety Action Plan in a bid to cut further the toll of deaths and serious injuries.

It will ensure every child is exposed to a more structured road safety education programme during their early years.

That could involve young pupils using the council's new road safety vehicle to measure the speed of traffic and to film driver behaviour near the school.

The results could then be used in a local speed or driver awareness campaign which would be delivered by the children.

An online database will be used to track the progress of each school and allow an overview of where to target staff and resources.

Mr Devlin said: "This is particularly important in areas of social deprivation where research shows children are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured."

The Road Safety Action Plan will allow every child to follow a "road map" of lessons with the aim of achieving a Lord Provost's Road Safety Award. It will be presented each year to schools at a ceremony in the City Chambers aimed at raising road safety aware-ness and recognising the children's achievements.

Council road safety staff have already introduced measures in schools in a bid to stop pupils being killed or injured.

In nurseries, road safety teams deliver talks to children and provide materials for road safety projects.

Every primary school in the city is invited to appoint two P6 or P7 pupils to act as junior road safety officers who promote road safety in their school and community.

They are expected to run road safety competitions, give class and assembly talks and run campaigns in their school assisted by road safety staff.

Primary children are introduced to activities including being taken out to walk around the area surrounding their school.

THAT involves looking at safer crossing places, safe playing areas, the volume of traffic and looking at signs, zig zag lines and keep clear areas.

And youngsters can take part in a big road safety games which involves questions with a large dice and board.

Cycle training is also offered to all pupils between P5 and P7 and road safety presentations are available for pupils in secondary schools.

Alistair Watson, the city council's land and environment spokesman, said: "Last year, child casualties on our roads fell by 41% to 13 serious injuries and for the second time on record, no child was killed on our roads.

"As a council, we have invested heavily in road safety over the past few years and we are now seeing the benefits of this through reduced casualties.

"However, our vision is to wipe out all accidents on our roads and we are working tirelessly with a number of partners as we work towards that target.

"This spring we will launch our new Glasgow School Road Safety Action Plan.

"This will see every child in the city's schools learn from a more structured road safety education programme in their early years.

"The new plan is made up of various lessons which will ultimately lead to pupils and schools achieving the Lord Provost's Road Safety Award at an annual prize giving event."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Education

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