CONCERNING new statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare should give us all pause for thought on the important role of 40km/hour zones outside of schools.
The Institute reports that land transport crashes are the number one killer for children aged up to 14 years, the second biggest killer of those aged 15 to 24 and the third biggest killer of 25 to 44 year olds. Injury - mostly from road accidents - accounted for 40% of the deaths of boys and 30% of girls in 2013.
This horrific rate of road trauma for children under 14 is an area as a community we can actually do something about.
Most of these deaths are as a result of either them being passengers or pedestrians so we need to ensure we slow down and keep a proper lookout when children are about.
Kids by their very nature are unpredictable and can run out into the road without warning, that's why school zone speed limits are so vigorously enforced.
While the 40km/hour zones have resulted in a significant reduction in the number of child deaths, the reality is if a child is hit by a car at 40km's per hour the child still only has a 60% chance of survival. That's a sobering statistic.
So slow down around schools and stick to the speed limits where ever you are. The rules aren't there to inconvenience you. The rules are about giving our kids (and ourselves) the best chance of survival on the roads.
Andrew McKenzie, CTP Insurance Principal Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
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