CARS have ploughed into more than 60 Southampton youngsters in just four years, according to new figures.

A total of 63 children were hit by a vehicle across the city between 2017 and 2020 - of these, 17 were seriously injured.

Six incidents in Southampton involved a child aged between four and 11 and happened in a 20mph zone.

However, none of these were within 500 metres of a school.

The figures from the Department for Transport also show that 14 children were hit during school ‘rush hours’, either between 7.30am and 8.30am or between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

Commenting, Lorna Fileker, said: “I am shocked to hear such high numbers as I’m sure many parents will be.”

The Labour politician who represents the Swaythling ward has in the past supported calls for a city-wide 20mph speed limit in residential areas.

She added: “We need to make sure that our streets our safe for children and I encourage the increasing use of school street schemes within Southampton to reduce the amount of traffic around school gates and I welcome the inclusion of 20mph zones in highly residential streets across the city.”

According to the analysis of more than 600,000 accidents by insurance firm, Churchill, 10,100 primary aged children have been hit by vehicles in the UK since 2017 – around seven a day.

More than 2,900 accidents have happened during school pick-up and drop off times.

Nearly a quarter of the incidents recorded nationally resulted in severe injuries, with 36 youngsters killed between 2017 and 2020.

Campaigners now say more should be done to educate youngsters about road safety after thousands of child pedestrians across Great Britain were hurt or killed in incidents between 2017 and 2020.

Rod Dennis from the RAC has called for more 20mph zones to be introduced around schools, saying physical traffic calming measures also played a part in making streets safer.

He added: “There is also a clear onus on drivers who use the car to drop off or pick up their children to think about their driving.”

He said parents could send a positive message to others by walking and cycling to school or parking away from the school gates.