CHILDREN and young people are involved in around half the fatal or serious road accidents in Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale, it has been revealed.

Thirty-two under 16s and 47 16-to 25-year-olds were either killed or badly hurt across the three boroughs in 2010.

Road safety chiefs have now launched a new scheme aimed at pre-school children called Little Safety Stars, especially in areas with high collision rates.

And the Wasted Lives campaign, championed by the Lancashire Telegraph, will continue to address reckless behaviour by novice drivers at the other end of the scale.

Analysis of accident figures has shown that under-16s in Burnley, Pendle and Hyndburn are significantly more at risk, particularly as pedestrians, than in any other part of Lancashire.

Reducing child fatality and casualty rates is a key priority in the county council’s road safety strategy.

County Coun Tim Ashton, highways cabinet member, said ‘good progress’ had been made in recent years in reducing accident numbers.

A new eight-year masterplan has been drawn up.

He said: “Our commitment to road safety goes beyond achieving targets, in particular, improving the safety of our children and young people remains a high priority for us.

“Road safety is the responsibility of all road users in Lancashire. We will be working with our partners and local communities to win ‘hearts and minds’ and influence driver behaviour.”

Plans are well advanced for 20mph zones in the Rosegrove area of Burnley, central Colne and Helmshore. Other areas are set to follow in 2012.

Similar plans are being made for outside some primary schools.

Officials are also backing a project aimed at young moped and motorbike riders.