The first comprehensive road safety tool is to be launched in the autumn with the aim of giving parents a “safety factor” for every school location.
The tool will consider key facts such as speed limits, road safety measures including speed bumps, as well as crossings and road markings. It will also incorporate road density information, crash rates and types for every single school.
It is being produced by a coalition of safety campaigners including the charity Brake, Road Safety GB and The Good Schools Guide, and is being led by AXA Insurance’s RoadSafe Schools initiative.
Over the next six months, the campaigners will develop a means to compare schools before visiting thousands of locations across the UK. They argue that currently there is no easy way for parents and schools to understand the road safety issues facing their children as they walk or cycle to school.
It comes as a study of more than 2,000 parents by AXA found that two-thirds cite road safety as an important factor when choosing a school for their children.
However, many schools do not routinely provide local road safety information to prospective parents, the study found.
There were more than 2,400 children aged up to 15 involved in road accidents in 2011 according to the Department for Transport, with other figures showing that every day in the UK seven children are knocked down, seriously injured or killed when on foot or bicycle.
AXA’s research also found that 86 per cent of parents would like to be given local school road safety information when choosing a school. AXA’s James Barclay said: “With over 2,500 injuries and deaths per year, the number of children at risk while on their journey to and from school remains far too high. And information made public to parents and schools to help understand the factors contributing to these numbers is scarce – yet parents are demanding it.”