Parents of girl, 12, who died in Leeds Ring Road tragedy welcome schools road safety campaign
The parents of a 12-year-old girl who died after being struck by a car on Leeds Ring Road have welcomed a new initiative being launched in schools today to educate children about road safety.
Hoshi Nayor suffered fatal injuries when she was hit by a Vauxhall Corsa while attempting to cross the ring road close to the roundabout junction with the A57 Wetherby Road in January 2018.
Hoshi, of Seacroft, became a lifesaver following her death when her kidneys, pancreas, liver and heart were donated to four people who needed transplants.
Her parents Lloyd Naylor and Emma Settle - who have since moved to Whinmoor - have welcomed road safety charity Brake's bid to educate children about road dangers after it revealed figures which show Leeds has the greatest number of child road casualties in Yorkshire and Humber region.
And Lloyd has urged pedestrians to play their part in cutting road casualties by not taking risks.
Brake said Department of Transport figures show there are on average 267 children killed or injured each year in Leeds.
More than 1,700 children in Leeds and across the region are set to take to the streets around their schools today (Weds June 16) to take part in Brake's Kids Walk with Shaun the Sheep to raise awareness of the 36 children who are killed or injured on the region’s roads every week.
The children, aged between four and 11, are among more than 50,000 across the UK taking part in The national project run by Brake in partnership with insurance company esure.
The campaign is trying to educate children about five key measures to enable them to make safe and healthy journeys: footpaths, cycle paths, safe places to cross, slow traffic and clean traffic.
Lloyd Naylor said: "If there's an appropriate crossing to use, use it.
"I see so many people crossing the road 100 metres away from a crossing just to save a minute.
"Taking risks with your life to save a minute of time seems silly to me.
"Drivers can only do so much with it, but pedestrians have got their job to do as well and that's not to take their own safety for granted."
He added: "Education is definitely one of the things that kids need.
"It is so easy to make a mistake. Anything that you can do to teach kids to improve their safety, absolutely we should be doing it."
Hoshi's mum Emma Settle, said she has seen parents ignore zebra and pelican crossings to cross busy roads with children just yards away from them.
Emma said: "It is brilliant that they are starting again to educate the kids on road safety in schools, but education starts at home.
"We really need to educate a lot of parents on how they should be crossing the roads with their kids.
"I wouldn't want anyone to lose a child the way we did.
"Hoshi was educated on road safety and if she hadn't been she probably would have been hit long before, because it is such a busy road that she needed to cross.
"It just so happened that the conditions were against her that night."
Short, supervised walks are taking place today at or around schools and nurseries.
Children will walk in a crocodile formation and hold hands to highlight the importance of being able to walk without fear or threat from traffic.
As part of the road safety campaign, schools can also run special road-safety-themed assemblies, lessons and fun activities, using free resources from Brake and featuring Shaun the Sheep and his friends.
Resources are available to any parent, carer or teacher to download for free at www.brake.org.uk/kidswalk
The event can also be used to fundraise for Brake, which supports families who have lost loved ones in road crashes.
Latest Department for Transport figures for 2019 show that Yorkshire and the Humber has the fourth highest child road casualty figures in the UK.
Leeds is the local authority with the highest number of children killed or injured on roads, with 224 reported in 2019 – a drop of 21 per cent compared to 2015 when the figure was 282.
The five-year average for Leeds is 267, meaning that 22 children are killed or injured on the city’s roads in a typical month.
Bradford is the second-highest reporting local authority, averaging 212 child road casualties a year between 2015 and 2019
The local authority reporting the lowest figures for child road casualties is York, which recorded 47 in 2019.
Scott Williams, head of programme delivery at Brake, said: “It’s every child’s right to be able to walk in their community without fear of traffic and pollution.
"Throughout the pandemic, families have taken to the streets on foot and by bike and we hope these activities will continue as restrictions lift and ordinary road traffic returns.
"It is vital that children are able to walk safely in the places where they live.
"Although numbers of children killed or injured in Yorkshire and the Humber shows positive signs of decline, every road death or injury is one too many and causes devastation for families, schools and communities.
"This year we hope to inspire as many children, schools and families as possible to call for safe and healthy journeys for children through our Brake’s Kids Walk event.”
An inquest in February 2019 held at Wakefield Coroner's Court into Hoshi's death heard she was around 900m away from the nearest pedestrian crossing.
Hoshi and her then 11-year-old brother, Raiden, were attempting to walk across the ring road close to the roundabout junction with the A57 Wetherby Road just before 6.30pm on January 4 2018.
West Yorkshire Police accident investigator Robert Eyre told the inquest the Corsa, which was travelling towards York Road, had an average speed just over 33mph in the 40mph zone.
Mr Eyre said the two children emerged from behind a line of traffic travelling in the opposite direction to the Corsa and that the driver was unable to avoid the collision.
No charges were brought against the driver.
The inquest heard the nearest pedestrian refuge island was 500m from the accident scene.
Recording a verdict of death due to a road traffic accident, assistant coroner Oliver Longstaff said the road was “not especially well lit” and said he would write a report aimed at preventing future deaths to Leeds City Council regarding the provision of lighting and pedestrian crossings where the accident happened.
Lloyd said he is pleased that Leeds City Council has since made changes at the site.
He said lighting has been improved, the path has been repositioned and a traffic island has been created for pedestrians to stop when they get halfway across the road.