Media Release


Kidsafe puts Dangerous Driveway Deaths and Child Restraints on School Agenda



As thousands of Victorian children prepare to head back to school in next two weeks, KIDSAFE has called for a  focus on Driveway Safety and Child Restraints in vehicles.


Robert Caulfield, President of Kidsafe Victoria, said, "The start of a new school year is one of the busiest times of the year, especially for parents whose children going to school for the first time.

"Parents need to recognise that children are unpredictable and that driveways are one of the deadliest areas around the family home."

On average, in Australia, driveway run overs result in one child fatality a month and according to figures out of Queensland, injure as many as 3 children a week.

"These children are usually old enough to be mobile, but too small to be easily visible from the driving position. Tragically, these deaths usually involve a parent or friend of the family," said Mr Caulfield.

With many families taking children to school, Kidsafe has also called for parents to conduct a daily check to ensure their child is restrained correctly.

Mr Caulfield said, "Research shows that correctly fitted and used child restraints and booster seats can reduce child death and serious injury by up to 70% in the case of a road crash."

"However, the major problem is that studies also suggest that an alarming majority of drivers install or use child restraints incorrectly and graduate their children to adult seat belts too early."

Mr Caulfield said, "It is vital that children travel in a restraint that is appropriate for their age, height and weight, and that the restraint is properly installed in the vehicle. Parents unsure of the correct child restraints should visit a registered fitting station.

Kidsafe Victoria has driveway safety stickers available for families to act as a daily reminder.

Avoiding the Tragedies: Driveway Safety
  • Always supervise your children whenever a car is being moved - hold their hands or keep them close;
  • If you are the only adult at home, safely restrain children in the vehicle while you move it;
  • Discourage children from using the driveway as a play area and make access to the driveway from the house difficult for a child by using doors, gates and fences with childproof locks;
  • Install a reversing camera or sensor to assist with detection of children or objects behind the car;
  • Most importantly, be aware that children are unpredictable, so you need to ensure you check where your children are and know who is responsible for supervising them.

  • Statistics from the Coroners Prevention Unit:
  • 6 children killed in driveways in Victoria alone in the last 18 months
  • 31% between 8:00-10:00am
  • 46% between 4:00- 6:00pm
  • In 85% of instances in Victoria, the driver was unaware that the child was near to the vehicle.
  • Ensuring your child's restraint is correctly fitted:


    • Ensure that the top tether strap on rearward and forward facing restraints is appropriately attached to the correct child restraint anchor location in your vehicle. If there is a top tether strap on your booster seat it must also be appropriately attached.
    • Check that the inbuilt harness in rearward and forward facing restraints has no twists and is firm when secured. Make sure that your child's arms are secured correctly in the inbuilt harness straps.
    • When using a booster seat, make sure the lap part of the seatbelt passes over the upper thighs and across the hips, not the stomach area. Ensure the seatbelt is firmly fitted.
    • Use the booster seatbelt guide to ensure the sash part of the seatbelt is positioned on your child's shoulders.
    • Check that the seatbelt buckles securing the restraint and your child are done up.

    Media Enquiries:
    Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, Kidsafe Victoria - Mobile: 0417 329 201