'Child could be killed', warn police, after pupil knocked down in school run street
POLICE are warning that a child could be killed crossing car-clogged streets at school time after a pupil was knocked down.
The nine-year-old Bridlington schoolgirl escaped with minor injuries after being hit by a car as she tried to cross between parked vehicles.
Police and the child's head teacher are warning the next accident could be fatal.
Inspector Mark Hughes, who is responsible for roads policing, said accidents are waiting to happen in congested streets outside schools across East Yorkshire.
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He said: "Even if a car is going along quite normally, if a child runs out between vehicles, an accident could happen.
"It increases the potential for accidents and the worst-case scenario is someone could be killed."
Insp Hughes is urging parents to avoid clogging up the streets outside schools with parked cars as they wait to collect their children.
He said: "It's an ongoing problem everywhere at school times, when an awful lot of cars park near schools.
"It increases the chances of accidents happening because children will come out between parked cars and, with the best will in the world, drivers just don't see them until it's too late."
The Burlington Junior School pupil involved in Monday afternoon's accident was detained in Scarborough Hospital for observation after suffering minor injuries.
Head teacher Cheryle Adams said: "She crossed between two parked cars to dash over the road to meet her dad and, unfortunately, a car that was travelling along Marton Road couldn't avoid her.
"She is bumped and bruised. She is not seriously injured, but she was taken to Scarborough Hospital and kept in overnight for observation."
Mrs Adams said pupils have been reminded about staying safe when crossing the road.
She said: "We have spoken to the children. Quite a few saw the accident and knew she had been taken to hospital.
"We have explained carefully what happened and explained she was very lucky, it could have been worse, and we have repeated that they know where it's safe to cross.
"The pupil who was involved in the accident is a lovely, bright, sensible little girl who just didn't think for a split second. That's how quickly something can happen."
Mrs Adams said it is the third time in three years that a pupil from Burlington infant and junior schools has been involved in an accident.
She echoed police concerns about the possibility of a serious or fatal accident.
She said: "Like any school, one day we could be facing an accident where a child is injured fatally because there is always that risk."
Mrs Adams said pupils are encouraged to use a manned zebra crossing and East Riding Council has been pressed to cut the 30mph speed limit to 20mph to improve safety.
Parent Mary Green said one of her three children was involved in a near-miss after stepping into the road from between parked cars.
Miss Green, who has two children at Burlington Junior School, said: "Last year, my little boy, who is now 6, stepped out and I had to pull him back.
"There were so many parked cars you couldn't see.
"People park wherever they can – on kerbs, on the zig-zag lines and across entrances.
"The school does its best, but the council needs to be looking at this."
East Riding Council says, in the past year, there has only been one incident of a child suffering minor injuries after being involved in a road accident outside a school.
A council spokesman said: "East Riding Council works closely with schools to provide pedestrian skills training to pupils.
"The roads outside schools can be busy places when parents are dropping off and picking up their children, so we would remind everyone – pedestrians, cyclists and drivers – to be vigilant and take extra care when near a school."