The Importance of Speed Limit Signs for our Children

The Importance of Speed Limit Signs for our Children

Speed limit signs communicates to drivers the safe or legal speed that they can travel on a road. Speed limit signage for areas with shared driveways, work sites, carparks or where children may be present can help save lives. Please obey speed limit signage.

Why Are Young Children Considered Vulnerable Road Users?

Young children between 0 and 12 years are considered vulnerable road users as road related trauma is the greatest cause of injury and fatality for this age group. Injuries kill more children than all diseases combined.

What Are The Main Issues For Young Children?

  • In Australia, pedestrian injury is the leading cause of death among five to nine year old children.

  • In 1999–2000 in Australia, there were 1,144 hospitalisations of children aged 0-14 years for pedestrian injuries.

  • Among children aged 1–14 years, hospitalisation rates decreased with age and were lowest for those aged 10–14 years.

  • Between 1999 and 2008, 83 pedestrians aged 0 to 16 were fatally injured or hospitalised in the Northern Territory. Of these 51 were male and 32 were female; 66 were in the metropolitan area and 17 were rural.

  • In Australia (April 2004 to March 2005) 20 pedestrians aged between 0 and 16 years of age were killed.

  • Males are twice as likely to be injured as a pedestrian than females.


What Are The Risks For Young Children Playing In Driveways?

  • More than one-third of children killed in motor vehicle accidents were killed in driveways, car parks and other off-road in yards

  • Children aged one to two years are the most likely to be killed or injured in home driveways. The vehicle is usually only moving slowly and is often being driven by a parent, relative or friend.

  • Most driveway accidents occur at the child's home where both the parent and the child may feel that the child is safer

  • The majority of the vehicles involved in driveway accidents are large 4WD passenger vehicles, utility vehicles, delivery vans and heavy trucks as there is reduced visibility in these vehicles particularly when reversing

  • The highest proportion of driveway fatalities occur on weekdays in the early morning between 8 am and 10 am and in the late afternoon between 4 pm and 6 pm

  • Most accidents occur in fine weather and bright conditions

While playing, children at this age are at risk because they:

  • Do not think about the consequences of their actions (e.g. they may dart out onto the road without thinking)

  • Are not being anticipated by drivers

  • Have not developed an effective search behaviour and may not look for long enough when scanning traffic

  • Do not realise the dangers of playing on the road or driveway

  • Often forget safety rules when playing

  • Respond to peer pressure

  • Lack knowledge and skills to deal with the traffic environment

  • Have parents who over-estimate their ability

  • Have a limited concept of danger.


How many children died on Australian roads?

According to the Australian Road Deaths Database, in 2018 among children aged 0–14:

Of children who died because of a road transport accident:

  • 59% were passengers
  • 29% were pedestrians
  • 5.9% pedal cyclists
  • 5.9% were drivers or other.

© Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2021

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