By the numbers

Road traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death among school students worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation, which recently published a report on global road safety as part of a decade of action on the issue.

The agency, part of the United Nations, wants five risk factors to be addressed: speed, drink-driving, helmets, seat belts and child restraints. Previous reports show that, annually, road traffic injuries are responsible for about 260,000 deaths of under-19s worldwide.

Most of these fatalities occur on roads in low- and middle-income countries, despite the fact that these countries have only about half the world's vehicles. Road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among children aged 15-19 and the second most common among children aged 5-14, after respiratory infections.

In England, charity Living Streets has called for lower speed limits after finding that 36 per cent of children fear walking to school because of speeding motorists.

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