Campaign draws attention to children and road accidents

More than 300 children have been injured in various road accidents in Latvia during the first six months of this year, and this is the largest number since 2019, the head of the Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD) Aivars Aksenoks said on Latvian Television July 27.

"Children have been injured both as pedestrians and cycling, but mostly in cars as passengers. [..] The dynamics are not pleasant because, in fact, compared with this period in previous years, it hasn't been so bad since 2019," the head of the CSDD said.

Renāte Snipe, chief medical officer of the Children's Clinical University Hospital (BKUS), said the hospital's data showed that around 116 children were hospitalized due to road accidents in seven months of last year, and 150 this year.

“If we are talking about children who have fallen or otherwise come to us because there have been some accidents involving bicycles, then their number has increased by a quarter – 300 last year, 400 this year. A constant number are children who are injured on roller skates, scooters. That's around 357 a month,” Snipe said.

She added that the biggest concern is the accidents with electric scooters.

“The number of children in the country is declining as the birth rate decreases, but the number of injuries is increasing and is a very big concern,” Snipe said.

She said one of the problems was that helmets are increasingly out of use. The observations of the CSDD show that even though children under 12 have to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle or similar vehicle, only a third of them actually do so. Even more worrying are the data on the children wearing a seatbelt in the car – 40% of cases do not do this, added Aksenoks.

In order to highlight the importance of safe movement in road traffic, on Thursday, July 27, the CSDD, BKUS and the State Police launch a road safety campaign "Your example is the best road sign!", targeting adults and parents so that they show a good example of road safety to their children. 


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