Of note in this report is the further decrease in the number and rate of child deaths. In 2019, the number of deaths of children and young people was the lowest recorded for fifteen years. In 2020, the number of deaths of children and young people decreased further. Many factors may have contributed to this decline, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the Committee used its data to inform a submission to the draft of South Australia’s Road Safety Strategy to 2031 regarding safe restraint of children in vehicles, and the lack of recognition of ‘low speed runovers’. The Committee’s research indicates that low speed runovers, which disproportionately involve large SUVs, may be increasing – four such deaths occurred in 2019 in South Australia.
Recommendations made by the Committee as part of its reviews have included the need for the whole of Government to provide services that reduce the likelihood of parents experiencing the loss of their children – through death or the child’s entry into state care.
The Committee extends its sympathy to all those families, friends and the communities who have lost a child. We trust that this report will assist the efforts of those who work to keep children and young people safe.