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Wreaths Presentations Mark Child Road Deaths

October 11, 2005

Wreaths Presentations Mark Child Road Deaths and Start of Safekids Campaign

Wreaths commemorating the lives of children killed as pedestrians in New Zealand will be presented to mayors at special launches in nine communities to mark the start of the national Safekids Campaign on Friday October 14.

The Campaign aims to raise awareness of the issue of child pedestrian injury, and its prevention. During the launch events mayors will be presented with the wreaths, and black cards that outline New Zealand's child pedestrian injury problem. Yellow cards with suggestions on ways councils can help reduce injuries will also be presented.

Safekids Campaign national co-ordinator Joy Gunn says the presentation of the wreaths is designed to hit home how tragic and yet preventable deaths to child pedestrians are - as well as provide communities with the opportunity to get councils involved in developing policies and practices which acknowledge the value of children.

"Different communities have different issues when it comes to child pedestrian injury. For some the reduction of speed limits around schools is a priority, for others congestion and parking problems around schools are issues. Others will concentrate on improving the design of roads and placement of pedestrian crossings."

Annually, on average, 14 child pedestrians aged under 15 years are killed in New Zealand in road traffic crashes, on driveways and other private land such as farms. More than 240 child pedestrians are hospitalised every year.

"This year's campaign will focus on ways we, as adults, can help reduce child pedestrian injury; as drivers, parents, school representatives and local government employees and politicians. Police and Land Transport are doing really well at educating children about pedestrian safety - but we need to keep educating adults."

ENDS

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