Every tenth child was in danger or was injured in a traffic accident

Every tenth child has had a chance to get into a traffic accident or come across a dangerous situation that seriously endangered him in traffic, according to a survey of parents conducted by the insurance company ERGO. In order to improve students' knowledge of road traffic rules and reduce the number of injured children, ERGO, in cooperation with "Safe Driving School", is launching an educational campaign "Mission: Safe Road to School".

According to the data of the State Police, 388 children aged six to 16 were injured in road traffic accidents in the first ten months of this year. Of them, 34 were seriously injured, and two died. The total number of affected children this year is slightly higher than last year in the corresponding period, when it reached 361.

"For the most part, children are injured both as passengers of vehicles and as pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, electric scooters are becoming more and more popular in recent years. Despite the fact that only one person over the age of 14 is allowed to move with this scooter, unfortunately, situations can be observed when two people ride the same scooter without observing any safety, so this reckless behavior can result in quite serious injuries. Therefore, it is also important for parents of children, who must tell and teach their children all safety measures," emphasizes Juris Jančevskis, head of the Traffic Safety Department of the State Police.

Dynamic but safe

In the survey, 10% of parents admitted that their children had to face life- or health-threatening situations in traffic, including road traffic accidents. The Pieriga region should be highlighted here, where residents have experienced such unpleasant moments a little more - 13%, and in Vidzeme the least - 7%. In rural areas and big cities, children have had more accidents than in small towns

"One thing is dangerous situations that happen in front of parents' eyes or that children tell their parents about. However, it should be taken into account that children often tend to hide negative experiences, especially if they feel guilty, so the number of threatening cases is likely to be higher. Nowadays, traffic is becoming more and more dynamic, new vehicles are entering it - electric scooters, and communication on mobile phones and listening to music in headphones distract attention from what is happening on the street. It is important to remind children about these aspects and the observance of road traffic rules, which we will also do in the project "Mission: Safe Road to School", explains Jānis Vanks, director of "Safe Driving School".

To school - on foot

The survey conducted by ERGO shows that most often children get to school by walking - 35%. Parents bring almost the same number of students to educational institutions by family car - 33%, while slightly less or 25% of children come to school by public transport. Only 4% of students go to school by bicycle or scooter.

Whatever the way children get around, parents are concerned about infrastructure. Namely, a third or 32% of parents in the survey admit that the organization of road traffic near the school causes them to worry about the safety of their children. The biggest excitement about it reigns in Zemgale and Latgale, as well as in the big cities of Latvia.

Raitis Čaklis, director of ERGO's Risk Underwriting Department, states: "Of course, it is important to organize the infrastructure to increase the safety of students, but it is no less important to teach correct and safe movement in road traffic from an early age - so that it becomes a habit for life. Parents play a very important role here, including their good example, but we, as a socially responsible company, also want to contribute to it by educating children."

ERGO in cooperation with "Drošas Braukšanas Skola" starts the campaign "Mission: Safe road to school" in November, which will continue next year. During it, lectures by the director of "Safe Driving School" Jānis Vankas on the basic principles of safe traffic will be held in schools in the regions of Riga and Latvia. On the other hand, campaign videos will be available to everyone on social networks, in which the surroundings of various schools will be analyzed in an attractive way and recommendations will be given for getting to school safely.

Watch the first video of the project about Riga Hanza Secondary School HERE.