Minister for Road Safety, Catherine King, has launched a government discussion paper that addresses driveway-related injuries in Australian homes, particularly to young children.

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The paper arrives after statistics revealed that, on average, seven children are killed each year as the result of being struck in a driveway by a moving vehicle. Ninety per cent of children killed in these incidents are under the age of five.

On top of these fatalities, 60 more children are seriously injured every year.

“These accidents generally occur in the driveway of the child’s own home, most often with family members at the wheel. This is something that no family should have to experience,” King said.

The paper focuses upon the role of design in reducing the risks faced by children and their families.

Increased visibility was found to be one area in which driveway design could be improved. The paper also recommends that driveways be shorter to minimise the distance a car moves along a property, and be separated from play areas such as yards.

This follows the National Road Safety Forum held by King last year. As well as considering driveway design measures, the forum recognised the role of vehicle safety technologies in reducing the number of driveway deaths.

In particular, reversing cameras and emergency brake mechanisms were considered to be possible means for minimising the number of incidents.

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In April of this year, King also proposed that emergency brake technologies become compulsory for all light passengers vehicles made in and imported to Australia. This included cars, passenger vans, SUV’s and light commercial vehicles.

King said the government welcomes suggestions and feedback from the broader community.

You can read the discussion paper here.