Every week one child is runover in a driveway in Australia
Low Speed Vehicle Run Over (LSVRO) Prevention Awareness Day – Sunday 16th April 2023
Kidsafe Victoria has issued a warning about the dangers that driveway can pose for children, in a bid to reduce the number of low-speed vehicle runover incidents.
The warning comes as part of a campaign for National Low Speed Vehicle Run Over (LSVRO) Prevention Awareness Day on Sunday 16th April.
The day – which was established by Emma and Peter Cockburn in memory of their daughter Georgina, who was fatally injured in a LSVRO incident on the 16th of April 2011 – is dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers driveways pose for children and what families can do to reduce the risk of LSVRO incidents occurring.
On average, every year 7 children aged 0-14 years are killed and 60 are seriously injured due to driveway run over incidents in Australia. Most incidents occur in the driveway of the child’s own home, or in a friend or relative’s driveway, and the driver is usually a parent, relative, or family friend.
Jason Chambers, Kidsafe Victoria General Manager, said that children’s unpredictability, their inquisitive nature and the fact that they are surprisingly quick and mobile, places them at increased risk around driveways.
“Driveways are dangerous places for children – they are designed to allow vehicles access to and from a property and therefore present the same hazards as roads.”
“All vehicles have a large blind spot – some extending back as far as 15 metres – which can make it difficult for the driver to see a child. While reversing sensors and cameras can help to reduce the risk, they can’t be relied upon on their own to keep children safe – a child may still not be noticed until it is too late”, said Mr Chambers.
Since Georgina’s death, Emma and Peter have worked tirelessly to share their story and educate parents and carers on the dangers, so that no other family has to experience what theirs has.
“We had thought, like any other parent, that our kids were safe in their own home. We had deliberately built our house with kids in mind; play areas at one end of the house, garage at the other, a safe fenced-off backyard area where they could play, well away from the garage and driveway. It never occurred to us that the access door between the house and garage would be an issue.”
“To all parents out there – please just check and double check”, said Emma and Peter.
To keep your driveway Kidsafe, Kidsafe Victoria recommends the following tips:
Supervise: Always supervise children in and around the driveway. Hold their hand or hold them close to keep them safe.
Separate: Where possible, separate children’s play spaces from garages and driveways. Some design features that can prevent children accessing the driveway include fitting high handles to garage doors, fences separating the house and garden from the driveway, and self-closing doors and gates.
See: All cars have a large blind spot. Reversing sensors and cameras can assist with reducing blind spots, however, they should never be relied upon to keep children safe. It’s a good idea for drivers to get into the habit of doing a ‘circle of safety’ and walking around their vehicle before getting into it when leaving an area where a young child is present.
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