Statistics show that in the past five years in Taiwan, more than 2,000 children under 12 were injured or killed due to traffic problems on their way to school, and half of the accidents occurred in the six greatest cities. More than 70% of parents are worried that vehicles along the way to school will not yield to their children, so eighty percent of elementary school parents choose to ride a motorcycle or drive their children to and from school.
Taipei, TAIWAN (Merxwire) – According to statistics from the Ministry of Transportation and communications, R.O.C, in the past five years, more than 2,200 children under the age of 12 have been injured on the way to school due to traffic safety problems, and some even died. More than half of the accidents occurred in the six major cities, Taoyuan, Tainan, Taichung, Kaohsiung, New Taipei City, and Taipei in order of casualties. Remind everyone that we should pay more attention to the safety of children going to school.
What are the safety issues that parents are most worried about when their children go to school? According to more than 2,000 questionnaires distributed by the Jing Chuan Child Safety Foundation, as many as 80% of primary school parents choose to ride motorcycles or drive their children to and from school for two main reasons. The cars or motorcycles don’t yield to children is the most important factor, followed by more than 30% of parents who are worried about the poor environment of going to school.
The Most Worries Parents Feel on the Way to School
According to the statistics of the questionnaires replied to by parents, the three issues that parents are most worried about when children go to school are the oppressed walking space, the vehicles moving at the intersection and the excessive speed in the school district, which increases the danger to the children, making most parents worried about letting them go to school on their own.
- Oppressed walking space: More than 50% of parents believe that the room for children to walk to school is oppressed, including uneven pavement surfaces, illegal parking of vehicles, illegal driving of motorcycles on arcades and sidewalks, and debris stacked on pedestrian passages such as electrical boxes and road trees.
- Insufficient safety facilities at intersections: 45.2% of parents believe that crossing facilities at intersections along the way to school are insufficient, increasing the danger of children crossing the road. 69.3% of parents believe that there are no guardrails or pedestrian shelter islands in the crossing facilities, and it is a concern for children to cross on their own.
- More than half of the school districts the cars are driving too fast: After an on-the-spot investigation, it was found that more than half of the schools did not have deceleration facilities around, and there were even schools with a speed limit of 60 kilometers. Excessive speed makes children and drivers unable to respond quickly. When going to school, they must be careful to avoid vehicles and increase the risk. Many children are afraid of vehicles and then delay their school time.
After actually investigating the surrounding environment of 30 elementary schools located in six major cities in Taiwan, the Foundation found that more than 70% of the arcades had parked motorcycles or accumulated debris, and more than 20% of the arcades had a net width of fewer than 1.5 meters, making it difficult for children to move around. More than half of the traffic lights and waiting areas near the school are too narrow, making it more dangerous for children to wait to cross the road.
It is recommended to refer to the more effective methods currently available in other countries to improve the safety of children going to school. For example, in Japan, a 500-meter area around a school with a walking distance of about 10 to 15 minutes is set as a school sidewalk, and measures such as speed management, traffic control, ensuring pedestrian space, and improving driving visibility are implemented. In the United Kingdom, streets are closed for a limited time during the commute to and from school to avoid contact between children and vehicles, and technological law enforcement equipment is placed.
By improving the commuting environment of the school from 150 meters to 500 meters, including solving the problem of motorcycles parking and removing unnecessary obstacles, effectively implementing speed limit control, setting up safe parking areas at intersections, and strengthening publicity drivers should pay attention to the safety of pedestrian, especially smaller children. Reduce the danger of children going to school, so that parents can accompany their children to practice walking to school, and one day they will be able to independently explore the world along the way to school.