A new report has revealed more than 6,000 children up to the age of 14 died between 2011 and 2020 in road collisions in the European Union.

Now the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) is calling for renewed action and specific targets to protect child road users.

Among some 40 recommendations to national governments and the EU, ETSC is calling for safe cycling and walking routes to schools.

ETSC says roads around childcare facilities and in urban areas with lots of cyclists and pedestrians should be designed for 30 km/h and low volume traffic.

Just seven countries in Europe reported setting compulsory lower speed limits around schools, according to the new study.

The ETC also said despite major advances in car safety in recent years, almost half of child road deaths are children travelling in cars.

It said there was only limited data are available on the correct use of child seats in cars across the EU, but said studies have shown that incorrect usage remains a significant problem.

The study authors also found vast differences in the safety of children between countries. The child road mortality rate in Romania is ten times higher than in Norway, Cyprus and Sweden.

“Making cities safe for children starts with simple things such as lower speeds and school streets,” said Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council.

“But if we are serious about reducing the hundreds of deaths of children that tragically occur every year, we also need to redesign our urban spaces to keep children separate from fast-moving vehicles and give them space to play and move around.”

The full report “Reducing child deaths on European roads”, published as part of the ETSC Road Safety Performance Index programme, can be read on the ETSC website.