Grieving mum urges action to end child pedestrian fatalities

DID you know that road trauma is the leading cause of death for children aged 1 to 14 in this country?

On average, one child is killed in a road crash in Australia every week.
Of the top six local government areas recording pedestrian fatalities involving children, five are in Queensland with Canterbury Bankstown named among the top five LGAs in NSW, according to findings from Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation and UNSW’s Transport and Road Safety Research Centre.
The other top NSW LGAs are Cumberland, Parramatta, Central Coast, Georges River and Campbelltown.
Most deaths of children in land transport crashes in Australia (59 per cent) occur when they are passengers but a significant percentage (29 per cent) occur when children are pedestrians.
Between 2001-2019, 439 children were killed in a pedestrian road trauma incident.
Completed with support from the Commonwealth Road Safety Innovation Fund, the findings are part of a new study aiming to address the concerning statistics.
“Our findings show that QLD and NSW in particular must urgently act to address this national crisis but no state or territory is in the position to sit idly by,” UNSW’s Emeritus Professor Ann Williamson said.
Aussie mum Michelle McLaughlin is the driving force behind the report.
She and husband David founded Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation to campaign for children’s road safety after the tragic loss of their four-year-old son, Tom, in a pedestrian road crash in 2014.
Since then, Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation has been working on community education and effective road safety initiatives, including distinctive signage around playgrounds and busy roads.
“Many families are not aware that the issue of child road trauma is as serious as it is across Australia,” Michelle said.
“The heartbreaking fact is that children unfortunately make up a sizeable percentage of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in road accidents.”