The main traffic danger at Swedish schools are parents themselves, dropping off their children by car. This is what the majority of the Swedish school principals believe according to a new survey. The increased risk of accidents at schools is a serious and growing traffic problem, and Swedish police agrees.
”The school environment and the lack of traffic security is a great problem. We tried to do something about it already ten years ago, but it is even worse today. More and more people drive to school now,” says Bengt Svensson, head of traffic issues at the Rikspolisstyrelsen (the Swedish Police). Parents transporting their children to school is therefore considered the main problem.
”It’s a paradox that the parents who drop off their kids by car do so because they feel the traffic is unsafe for their kids, since that makes traffic even more dangerous,” says Henrik Ask, Personal Injury Manager at If, the insurance company that for a seventh consecutive year has made a survey of principals at Swedish schools. Over a thousand principals answered this year’s survey, and 55% of them believe that traffic safety is an issue, an increase with 10% since 2012. 60% of the principals (compared to 54% last year), believe that the parents dropping of their kids via car, are the largest traffic risk at their school. More than every fifth principal has been involved in a traffic incident or accident at their school. Says Henrik Ask: ”The parents are in a hurry to get to work. It happens in a second that a child runs out in front of the car, while at the same time the driver’s attention is lacking.” Bengt Svensson says that already ten years ago, parents complained about the dangerous traffic environment: ”But it was they themselves who made the environment dangerous. And it’s the same thing today. Many are too tired from nagging on their kids to finish their breakfast and get dressed in time. It’s simpler to just drive the kids to school. Most schools aren’t built to accomodate so many cars in such a short time.”