JIS News

Statistics from the Road Safety Unit have identified April as the deadliest month of the year for children. While 2007 has recorded the lowest number of child fatalities in April since 2001, the figures are still worrying for the Unit as in 2006, six children died, and in 2004 and 2005 the records show that four children died from accidents during in each of these years, in the month of April.
The highest number of deaths was recorded in 2001 when eight children were killed, while in 2003 three children died as a result of road crashes.
Over the years, January has been ranked the second highest month for road fatalities for children. For this year, two children died, and five last year, during the month of January. The highest number of deaths within this month occurred in 2001, with six fatalities.
Speaking with JIS News, Accident Analyst at the Unit, Kenute Hare, said “The first four months of the year, dating as far as 2001, usually have the most fatalities. The March and April period is problematic for us [because] we normally have a lot of fatalities around that lent period. This is the time that a number of events usually occur.”
The Analyst pointed out that despite the figures the main cause of death is the improper use of the roadways by children. “They are not using the roads properly and thus they get killed. We have an issue of children playing and running in the roads, crossing between stationary vehicles and not ensuring that it is safe to do so,” he explained. For this year, the least number of deaths occurred in the months of April and May.
Meanwhile, the month of September, which signals the start of a new school year, is the month that child fatalities are least likely to occur. This has been the trend since 2001. With two weeks into September, no fatal accidents for children have been reported.
Incidentally, no such deaths have been reported for the month of September since 2005. The highest number of deaths within this month was four, in 2002.
Mr. Hare noted that with September being the start of a new school year, children are being accompanied by their parents. “Many children who are going to school, especially those who are attending school for the first time, are being placed in a protective environment by the parents,” he said.
He further attributes the heightened sense of caution to the emphasis schools continue to place on road safety at the start of the new academic year, and commends the Ministry of Education for its initiatives that have helped to reduce such fatalities island wide.
The Road Safety Unit in conjunction with the Ministry of Education distributed 270,000 road safety booklets to promote road safety in schools. Road safety education has also been incorporated into the curriculum.
To date 18 children have died this year, and 23 last year, as a result of road accidents. Of the 18, three were under three years old, six were between the ages of five and nine, and nine were in the 10 to14 age group. The figures were the same for last year with the exception of the five to nine age group, which saw 11 fatalities.

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