News Column

Parents Crying Out For School Road Safety Transparency to Reduce Casualties

Jul 16 2013 12:00AM

Marketwire

LogoTracker

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 07/16/13 -- The majority of parents (67 per cent) say road safety is an important factor in the school they choose for their child. Yet two thirds (68 per cent) of those who have sought a school for their child in the past five years were provided no road safety information as part of the decision process, according to findings from AXA Insurance's RoadSafe Schools campaign.

The findings go on to reveal that four in five (86 per cent) parents across the UK want the ability to access such local school road safety information as part of a more informed decision when choosing a school. More than half (57 per cent) said that if it was available to them at the time of choosing a school, that it would have influenced their decision over a school.

Furthermore, 84 per cent of parents believe that local authorities or schools should as standard provide this road safety information to parents seeking a school for their child.

In addition to the lack of safety information provided to parents, since 2009/2010, the governments' budget for child road safety education has dramatically fallen from GBP 3.78 million to just GBP 78,000 in the 2012/2013 financial year.

James Barclay of AXA Insurance, commented: "With over 2,500 injuries and deaths per year, the number of children at risk while on their journey to and from school remains far too high. And information made public to parents and schools to help understand the factors contributing to these numbers is scarce - yet parents are demanding it."

The top three factors for consideration as parents choose a school for their child generally remains consistent; however, fathers cite their child's safety (23 per cent) as second behind the standard of education (32 per cent). Mothers led with how close the school was to home (31 per cent) and standard of education (30 per cent) before highlighting the importance of child safety (17 per cent).

The single most important factor when choosing a school differs slightly for fathers and mothers, however their combined views place the safety of their children closely behind education standards (31 per cent) and proximity to home (27 per cent). The safety of children including road safety issues combined to be the top concerns for one in three parents (34 per cent).

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, commented: "The safety of children on roads should be a top priority - and there's much more that can be done to prevent child casualties and enable kids to walk and cycle safely around where they live and to get to school. This survey from AXA car insurance shows that parents understand the vital importance of this, to the extent that it's a significant factor in their choice of schools.

"We're looking forward to working with AXA to support more schools and communities to take action on road safety, and help bring about proven and valuable improvements like 20 limits, crossings, safe paths and pavements."

The findings have led to the road safety sector joining forces to share knowledge and resources to reach a common goal to inform and reduce casualties among children.

In April 2013, Brake, Road Safety GB, Road Safety Analysis (MAST), RoadSafe, The Good Schools Guide and Colas joined forces with AXA car insurance to develop the first comprehensive schools road safety tool which will be launched in Autumn 2013.

With the aim to eventually analyse all 30,000 plus local school areas across the country, the tool will consider key facts such as speed limits, road safety measures including speed bumps, as well as crossings and road markings while also incorporating key road density information, crash rates, crash types and more - for every single school.

Collating more than 50 pieces of information per school, AXA car insurance is working with renowned industry experts and ex-government advisors Road Safety Analysis (previously MAST) to establish a true 'safety factor' for each school location.

This information will be fed to schools and local authorities via partners who will look to build connections and a means to improve the areas around school to help reduce casualties even further. This will be based on the best road safety standards around schools observed by the campaign throughout the year.

Top six factors making up parent priorities when choosing a school for their child:

1 - Proximity of school to home (69 per cent)

2 - Education standards (56 per cent)

3 - Safety of their child (47 per cent)

4 - Whether child is able to get to and from school by themselves (41 per cent)

5 - Standard of sports facilities (24 per cent)

6 - Whether the school has specific road safety initiatives such as 'Walk to School' (20 per cent)

For more information and updates about the campaign, visit: www.axainsurancezone.com/roadsafeschools

About our partners:

Brake, the road safety charity

Road Safety GB, a national road safety organisation representing local government road safety teams across the UK

Road Safety Analysis (formally MAST), market leader in supplying innovative, creative and competitive services to the road safety sector

RoadSafe, the leading forum for promoting and devising solutions to road safety problems

The Good Schools Guide, the indispensable, impartial guide to UK state and private schools

Colas, delivering sustainable solutions for the design, building and maintenance of the UK's transport infrastructure

Notes to Editors

Research conducted by Opinium of 2,001 UK adults April 2013

2,412 children up to 15 years old involved in road accidents in 2011 according to Department for Transport statistics (RAS30062)

About AXA

AXA is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and underwrites a broad range of products for individuals and businesses. AXA Direct Insurance offers car, home and travel insurance through its website www.axainsurance.com and is designed to make buying insurance fast, secure, convenient and easy-to-use.

The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with more than 163,000 employees serving 102 million clients in 57 countries. In 2012, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 90.1 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 4.3 billion. AXA had Euro 1,116 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2012.

In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth, AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary, AXA Personal Direct and Partnerships, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 12,000 staff in the UK.

The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 - Bloomberg: CS FP - Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA's American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.

The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.

It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme's Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment



Contacts:
Andrew Pink
Brazil (PR agency for AXA Car Insurance)
020 7785 7383 or 07809 776 432
andrewp@agencybrazil.com

Sean Williams
Brazil (PR agency for AXA Car Insurance)
07809 776 432
schools@agencybrazil.com





Source: Marketwire