Tuesday 24 July 2012
VicRoads Director for Road User Safety, James Holgate, today reminded parents to look out for their children around cars, with the launch of a new driveway safety campaign.
Mr Holgate said the message was being delivered to the public across a vast range of mediums to drive home just how important being aware is.
"Since 2000, 14 children have died from incidents with vehicles in the family driveway and over 80 children have ended up at the Royal Children’s Hospital with very serious injuries," Mr Holgate said.
"Ninety-two per cent of the incidents occurred in the driveway of the child’s home, with eight per cent in the driveways of the child’s relatives or friends."
Mr Holgate said most of the children involved in driveway incidents were under the age of six and often occurred between 8 and 10 in the morning and between 4 and 6 in the evening. Most of the vehicles involved were 4WD’s, vans and utes, which have poorer visibility for a reversing driver.
"Alarmingly, 85 per cent of the drivers were unaware a child was near their vehicle. The vehicles were driven by a parent, a family member or a friend," Mr Holgate said.
"What this tells us is that we need to make people more aware of how vulnerable children are around cars in driveways.
"We are asking all Victorians to stop, think and look for children before they enter and exit driveways."
Mr Holgate said the campaign has two key messages; ‘just because you don't see me, doesn't mean I'm not here’; and "never reverse until you know where they are."
"The campaign is an important reminder to parents, carers and teachers of children under six years of age," Mr Holgate said.
The campaign will be supported by VicRoads funded professional development for early childhood educators and included in educational materials for teachers and parents, print, radio and online.
The campaign is led by the Office of the Child Safety Commissioner in partnership with VicRoads, Victoria Police, the Royal Children's Hospital, Kidsafe, RACV and the Municipal Association of Victoria.
For more information, visit kids.vic.gov.au.