Another low socio-economic area driveway accident

Let’s hope she lives.

SignA with text+websiteA toddler is in hospital with serious injuries after being run over in a driveway.

The 18-month-old girl was run over in a driveway in the Auckland suburb of Mangere today.

Police called it a “tragic incident” but gave no further details about how she was hit at the Massey Road home.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.

The little girl was taken to Middlemore Hospital.

The injury comes less than a month after three-year-old Valentina Grace Warren was hit in the driveway of her Te Atatu Peninsula home on November 21. She later died in  Starship hospital.

Her parents paid tribute to her today calling her “an amazing little girl.”

On average, five New Zealand children are killed in private driveways each year, according to a 2011 report by lobby group Safekids Aotearoa.

And a 2007 United Nations Children’s Fund report said New Zealand had the worst record of developed-world countries in protecting its children from accidental injuries.

…physical separation was the best protection for children.

“With the best intentions in the world, you can’t supervise toddlers 24/7,” she said.

“People need to recognise the risk. Whether it’s a shared or long driveway, children’s play areas must be totally separated. That’s the best protection.

“There are problems with all sizes of vehicles, and the blind spots are huge.

“If people can afford reversing cameras, that’s useful, but it’s not the sole answer.”

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) agreed.

“While technology like reversing cameras and alarms can help to reduce the risk, even vehicles equipped with these cameras can still have blind spots,” NZTA spokesman Andrew Knackstedt said.

People who don’t take the amount of care to check where the children are before backing out of a driveway are unlikely to be using a reversing camera.   But then, these people also tend to live in the poorer areas of our country.


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  • T. Akston

    Smack your kids and you’ll be in court. Run them over, nah, just a tragic accident.

    • Albert Lane

      Yes, you’d think the driver would be charged with negligent driving causing death or injury. Or do our police and courts think that enough pain has been caused, and that a conviction would only make the situation worse?

  • Hard1

    I have seen a truck back into a Jag when the truck passenger was just dumbly sitting there. A televised campaign appealing for drivers to get another adult to guide them when backing would be a start. A few prosecutions for the drivers wouldn’t go amiss, either.

    • Sundreamer

      I backed my Mercedes into the side of my Ferrari once

      • Albert Lane

        That sounds painful. I hate it when people who are not looking, smash into my Ferrari. Fortunately only I can see the bruising.

  • Billythekid

    Big things are blind spots. It’s been headline news for quite sometime now (particularly in the said area) and the stupid people that reverse over the kids still don’t have the brains to check prior to reversing their vehicles. Dumb, dumb dumb.

    • Hard1

      “check prior to reversing their vehicles” then kid comes running around the corner when they hear the car door shutting. 2 people is what it takes.

    • HSV325

      Car sound systems going as well mean the driver can’t hear or maybe they are just too fat to turn around and look.

  • Skydog

    Looking at low social economic housing, sometimes the only place for kids to play is on the clear driveway. The rest of the yard is so overgrown and combined with dumped rubbish, there is no where else for the kids to play.

  • who’stoblame

    Why can’t people simply reverse up their driveway when they arrive home enabling them to simply drive straight out next time with clear visability. Or is that just too complicated.

    • Rick H

      If they reversed into their driveways, they’d still run the kids over on the way in.

    • rantykiwi

      Then you kill the kid when you get home rather than when you go out – it doesn’t solve the problem.

    • abbaby

      I know that your reply was about safety when heading forwards out to the footpath, and also it’s annoying when cars back-out onto the main road in front of you. I wonder too if the statistic is more kids are run over when cars are heading out than when coming home.

    • Albert Lane

      I would feel very insecure reversing up the driveway and into the garage. There’s not a lot of room either side of the car, and not even reversing cameras would help. However, it’s easy reversing out. The car’s steering is already in the proper position, and it’s just a matter of looking out for people and traffic. The traffic is fairly easy to see, but there are a lot of blind spots in a car, and it’s the people problem we need to solve.

  • papagaya

    “..New Zealand has the worst record of developed-world countries in protecting its children from accidental injuries.” Perhaps it’s because we’re no longer that developed. Put us in a category of “less developed” countries and we’d probably come up tops. These tragic incidents are now so commonplace yet rarely happen to middle class families. But few people will publicly talk about the issues of vigilance, level of care, and a welfare system that incentivises the bearing of children by people who are ill equipped for it.

    • Albert Lane

      It’s also because we have drive-ways. Not all that many developed countries have much of their housing on quarter-acre sections. Most people in those countries park at the roadside. Our living conditions are totally different, so why compare apples with oranges?

  • intelligentes candida diva

    Accidents can happen but carelessness, self focus and ignorance are all too often the dominant characteristics in people these days and common sense a rare attribute.
    All very well to call child “amazing” parents need to work on themselves to become “amazing”
    Here are starting tips going to a house where there are toddlers
    Check driveway clear
    Check where children are before getting into vehicle
    Drive cautiously and slowly

    Where I live school children walk past my drive and when Im running late I have trained myself not to hurry reversing out drive, I toot as I begin to move and when I hit end of driveway.

    I hope for a full recovery for the child.

  • Alloytoo

    Impertinent question #1

    What was the blood alcohol content of these “Tragic accidents”

    Impertinent question #2

    Were any other drugs found in their blood?

  • I wonder if the recent trend towards double cab utilities, SUV’s and people carriers (vans) is making the situation worse than in previous years. These vehicles are all higher than passenger cars so the blind area can more easily conceal a small child in the area behind the vehicle. I have a reversing camera in my car but it’s not that great when the morning sun is shining on the lens or the screen. Parents taking care to secure children away from the driveway is the solution, though it only takes a moment’s inattention for a child to dart away, Let us hope that the publicity helps make more adults take extra precautions around driveways.

  • Benoni

    We totally fenced off the shared driveway and carport when our son was born. That is the best solution to the problem. He still managed to put himself in danger when the roofer arrived and climbed on the roof and the 3 year old was up the ladder in seconds and onto the roof (really steep slippery tiles) and refused to come down for a good long time.
    You can lessen the danger but not eliminate it completely.

  • Wendy

    “With the best intentions in the world, you can’t supervise toddlers 24/7,” she said.
    How about supervise them for the 30 seconds it takes to back up the driveway?
    Its not difficult to get the children to stand next to you so you know where they are.

  • Warren Murray

    Careless driving is no accident

    • Albert Lane

      The problem is that we are never told about the drivers of these vehicles. Are they sober? Have they just had a screaming argument with their spouses? Are they drug-free? Do they even have a licence? Is the car registered? Answers to these questions would give us a better idea of the circumstances leading to these terrible fatalities. The gaps in our information systems don’t enable us to make any recommendations to reduce the problem. We’re only now hearing that the poor chap who fell 15 metres to his death off a flying fox in Whangarei was only in the park as an observer, and the equipment he fell off wasn’t in use at the time. When you only get half the story and don’t know the circumstances of the accident, how can your brain go into judgement mode?

  • Kevin

    I bet it was a truck or SUV.

    But if these braindead parents actually got it into their kids’ heads that driveways were dangerous places and to keep away from driveways it wouldn’t matter what kind of car it was.

  • damm good thrashing

    We need to break the statistics down on a ethnicity basis.