Safer road design needed to protect child pedestrians, cyclists: Coroner

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VANCOUVER - The British Columbia Coroners Service has revealed a tragic portrait of children and youth who died in collisions and is calling for safer street design to prevent future deaths.

The service has issued a report with recommendations for the province after reviewing the deaths of 81 young pedestrians, skateboarders and cyclists between 2005 and 2014.

The report says 15- to 18-year-olds were most likely to die in road-related crashes, and of 29 in that age range who were tested for toxicology, 23 tested positive for alcohol or marijuana.

More than one-third had involvement with the Children's Ministry within 12 months of their deaths, which the coroner says is consistent with research findings in other jurisdictions.

The service also found nearly half of the children aged one to four died in driveway incidents where, for example, a child runs behind a parent's vehicle as it is backing up.

The report recommends B.C. approach road design with a focus on safety, increase traffic safety knowledge for children and youth, and promote the adoption of legislation for vehicle sensors and cameras.

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