Seven children's lives claimed by car crashes in 2020 already in Latvia

Although 2020 is only halfway through, the number of children killed in road accidents has already exceeded last year's tragic accident statistics, Latvian Television reported on July 6.

Most recently - Sunday, July 5, a child lost his life by a car running over the child in the driveway. State police are calling on parents to think more about child safety, meantime State Audit Office points to an insufficient analysis of casualties.

Over the past 25 years, the number of children under 14 killed in accidents has reduced. Compared to last year, however, 2020 is already more somber.

This year, seven children have died in road accidents, six of them under 14. According to the State police, all last year's statistics have been exceeded by the middle of the year.

The number of children injured in accidents during the last ten years is similar annually. Statistics from the Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD) show that the number of children-pedestrian victims has fallen significantly.  There is, however, a significant increase in the number of victims among young cyclists and motorcyclists.

State Audit Office, which has studied road safety and trends in depth, highlighted the importance of educational measures, but said that one of the difficulties of addressing road safety issues is the lack of information and analysis for each accident.

“We found in the audit that neither the Ministry of Transport nor the Ministry of Interior have had in-depth research into why exactly such a large number of children involved in road accidents is, which is so specific and different from the adult target group,” said Inese Kalvāne, member of the State Audit Office Council.

Data from the European Transport Safety Council from 2013 to 2016 show that Latvia is in third place at European level in terms of the number of children killed on the roads from the end, ranking immediately behind Romania and Bulgaria.

State control has concluded that safety does not depend on behavior, but also on the efficiency of the infrastructure established and on the system created by the State.

“We can achieve good results in road safety, if the person complies with road traffic rules, the road infrastructure itself is designed to maximize prevention and, of course,  there is adequate control," said Inese Kalvāne.

The Ministry of Transport said that their strategy provides for the physical separation of walkways and carriageways for pedestrians and cyclists by 2040 in order to reduce the risk of collisions.

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