11 children who shouldn't be dead

The Daily Telegraph

Wednesday 24 July 2002

ELEVEN schoolchildren have been killed after being hit by cars in the past 18 months.
The figures have alarmed police, who are calling for NSW motorists to slow down and take care around schools.

“It's a significant figure,” Inner-Metropolitan Region traffic co-subs ordinator Daniel McConville said.

Four of the eleven were killed while travelling to and from school, between 8am to 9.30am and 2.30 and 4pm.

A further 142 students were injured while travelling to and from school -- with 17 per cent of these children hit on pedestrian crossings.

“Pedestrian crossings are of particular concern,” Senior Sergeant McConville said. “We teach children to use pedestrian crossings and they expect to be able to use them.

“Motorists need to be aware that young kids tend to be unpredictable and that's why we want people to slow down, look out for the pedestrian crossings and look out for the little kids.” The victims include:

* AN eight-year-old girl crushed between two cars while holding her mother's hand outside a primary school in Gymea in February;

* CORBIN Shackelford died in February after being struck by a car in Kentwell Rd, North Manly, while riding his bicycle;

* ALEX Carroll, 10, was killed crossing the road in Warilla when a motorist drove through a red light in March;

* ALEXANDER Nunes, 11, was killed by a van in Bondi after stepping out from behind a parked car while walking to school in March last year;

* DANIEL Crestani, 11, died after being hit by a car while rollerblading outside his home in April last year;

* WILLIAM Lacrosse, 10, was killed in a hit-and-run as he ran to chase a soccer ball outside a friend's birthday party at Guildford on May 25 last year;

* DAVID Kiss, 5, was killed and his brother Dominik, 3, injured when a car ran off the road and hit the boys as they played on a nature strip outside their Winston Hills home in May last year; and

* JAKE Devlin, 6, died when he ran into the path of a ute outside a video store in Broken Hill on Boxing Day, 2001.

Sen-Sgt McConville said two major factors in these deaths were speed and lack of awareness.

“We just need to get the message out to motorists that it is important to slow down in and around the schools and obey those 40km speed limits,” he said.

Parents should “drop off their kids in proper designated areas and not stop at pedestrian crossings or areas which impede motorists from seeing other kids. Children should be dropped off on the same side of the road as the school.” Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby called for additional safety measures including “flashing orange lights at school zones, all-day speed limits and criminal penalties for speeds 30kmh over the limit”.

The fine for exceeding 40km/h school speed limits rose to $320 in July.