CAMPAIGNERS say more must be done to keep young pedestrians safe after figures reveal a big jump in the amount of children killed or injured in Dorset. 

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request shows that Dorset saw 'one of the biggest increases' in the number of child (0-15) pedestrian casualties over 12 months in England.

Department for Transport figures reveal there were 11 child road casualties in 2021 and 16 in 2022 - a 45 per cent increase. This is the latest data available.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Sidwick said he remains ‘committed’ to helping to reduce the number of deaths on Dorset’s roads.

He said: “In Dorset, we have Dorset Road Safe, a multi-agency partnership working tirelessly to improve road safety and reduce the number of people injured on our roads. The partnership offers training and education both to drivers and pedestrians and often visit schools to ensure our children are best equipped to stay safe as pedestrians.

“In addition, Dorset now has 87 Community Speed Watch Teams across the county who work to reduce the number of drivers speeding on our roads.”

In the past year, the county's road casualty figures for all fatalities and serious casualties has reduced by 11 per cent, according to the Mr Sidwick.

He added: "I will continue to support the many dedicated police officers, staff and volunteers who work hard to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.”

Inspector Craig Tatton, of the Roads Policing Team, said: “Thankfully the number of serious incidents involving child pedestrians on Dorset’s roads is relatively low, but we recognise even one incident is one too many.

“We are all too aware of the devastating consequences that can result from even a moment’s lapse in concentration when behind the wheel and we would urge motorists to drive carefully and considerately at all times, but particularly around areas such as schools where there are likely to be large numbers of children in the vicinity."

He added: “We work with our partners to promote road safety awareness in school as we recognise the importance of educating our younger generation.

“Roads policing and neighbourhood policing teams also work closely to deliver enforcement activity in areas where there is an increased risk to children and other pedestrians."