Safekids' driveway safety initiative a tragic waste of time, says campaigner.

A new driveway safety initiative by Safekids, which includes giving parents a keyring with their child's picture, will do little or nothing to reduce driveway deaths, says the car review website  dogandlemon.    .


Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, who is an outspoken road safety campaigner, says:


"These terrible driveway accidents are occurring simply because children aren't being seen in time. Because most of these accidents occur when the vehicle is reversing, the solution is to remove the blindspot behind the vehicle."
"Modern vehicles, especially SUVs and people-movers, don't have effective rear vision. You can look in all three mirrors and yet miss a full-sized pram behind you, let alone a crawling child."


Matthew-Wilson says the technology exists to prevent most driveway accidents at very little cost. 

“In a major recent study, about three-quarters of drivers in vehicles fitted with reversing cameras or beeping parking sensors, avoided a reversing accident.”

“On the vehicles in the same test that didn’t have either cameras or reversing sensors, 100% of the drivers ran over a child-size dummy that had been secretly placed behind them while they were reversing.”

“It’s time to face facts: the current approach to solving driveway deaths is not working.  I’m wondering how many more children need to die before the so-called experts accept the obvious: trying to reduce driveway accidents by changing behavior doesn’t work.”

“No parent can know where their kids are 100% of the time. Keeping track of one toddler is a fulltime job. Keeping track of more than one toddler is a nightmare; the larger the family, the greater the risk. You can’t change children, but you can change your car, so a toddler darting out of the house onto your driveway doesn’t become the next tragedy.” 

“No one is claiming this technology is foolproof.  Adults still have to take care around young children. Reversing cameras and beeping parking sensors simply give more information to the driver, in the same way rear view mirrors give more information to the driver.”

New Zealand has one of the worst rates of children being killed by cars on driveways. An average of five children a year die on driveways and a child is seriously injured about every two weeks.

The government is investing $30 million on childproofing state house driveways, but this is a tragic misuse of road safety funds, says Matthew-Wilson.

 “Not only is the government’s policy very expensive, it will be limited in its effects and will take years to make any difference. A reversing camera reduces the risk of driveway accidents from the day you install it.”