The end of the school day on Fridays a particularly dangerous time for younger pupils
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The end of the school day on Fridays a particularly dangerous time for younger pupils

© Belga

With the approaching post-holiday return to school, scholars and students will be reappearing on pavements carrying their briefcases and backpacks in the morning and mid-afternoon.

These times, however, also correspond to the peak times of danger on the roads, the Vias Institute warned on Tuesday.

Of the children and adolescents (3-18) who are victims in a road accident, more than one in four (44%) is on the way to or from school, with each day registering a total of 17 children or young people on average involved in an accident.

The period following the end of the school day shows up as being the most hazardous, according to Vias, with a peak on Friday afternoons/evenings.

It is worth noting that these statistics do not only take into account pedestrians, but also those who are involved in a car or bike accident.

A marked increase in the risk of being involved in an accident occurs between the ages of 12 and 16, Vias noted, particularly among boys.

“At the age of 12, many children begin to go to school unattended and do not always have sufficient reflexes when faced with certain dangerous situations, hence the necessity of preparing them to make the big step,” the institute specialising in road safety.

Number of victims on the way to school per 100,000 population by age and sex, 3-18 years of age (2016-2018) – Vias Institute

It points out in this respect the importance of preparation and of accompanying children correctly with a view to preparing them for their first journeys alone to and from school.

This advice includes: making the journey together, reminding offspring of the basic rules to be remembered when crossing the road, and taking care to leave on time, as well as being visible and correctly dressed if riding a bike.

The Brussels Times

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