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County council launches campaign to protect schoolchildren against road accidents
4:00pm Monday 9th July 2012 in News
HAMPSHIRE County Council has launched a new campaign to guard schoolchildren against road accidents.
StreetSense is aimed at increasing traffic awareness in secondary school children aged 11-16.
It follows council research that found 75 per cent of road accidents involving secondary pupils were due to students not paying attention to the road by using mobile phones or listening to music through headphones.
Between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2011, there were 773 incidents involving secondary school children, with three fatal and 154 serious injuries.
The scheme officially started at Swanmore College of Technology in June, one of 18 secondary schools identified as a priority across the county.
StreetSense is using theatre, films, computer workshops and bicycle training classes to teach children about road safety.
Councillor Mel Kendal, executive member for transport, said: “We believe that by heightening their awareness of potential dangers at this age, as well as what can be done to reduce the risk of an accident, these lessons will remain in their consciousness, staying with them as they become young motorists and helping them to be safer drivers and riders.”
The council also has a £300,000 budget to improve road signs and lights, while six schools will have a 20mph speed limit brought in around their grounds.