From Brake, the road safety charity, PO Box 548Huddersfield, HD1 2XZ
Lynne Jones MP backs Road Safety Week
Lynne Jones MP is calling on drivers in Selly Oak to stop putting child pedestrians’ lives at risk by speeding in residential areas.
Lynne Jones is making this plea during Road Safety Week 2003, which is raising awareness of child pedestrian deaths and injuries and the unacceptable levels of fear children experience on a daily basis when faced with speeding traffic in around their schools and homes. The theme of the Week is ‘Save the life of a child – slow down.’
The results of a SHOCKING road safety survey of 1,500 7-14 year old children conducted at schools across the country is being released by Brake, the road safety charity. Brake runs Road Safety Week with support from the Department for Transport, Department for Education and Skills and high street names Direct Line, Green Flag, Renault and Sainsbury’s.
A REGIONAL BREAKDOWN OF THESE SURVEY RESULTS IS AVAILABLE TO JOURNALISTS IN DIFFERENT REGIONS, ALONG WITH A REGIONAL BREAKDOWN OF NEW STATISTICS FROM THE GOVERNMENT SHOWING THE LATEST LEVELS OF DEATHS AND INJURIES OF CHILDREN ON FOOT ON ROADS.
Nationally, the survey found that:
§ 75% of children want MORE SPEED CAMERAS
§ HALF of children describe the road outside their school as DANGEROUS
§ HALF of children say they need a SAFER PLACE TO CROSS outside their school
§ 70% of children think drivers should GO SLOWER near their school
§ ONE IN THREE children say the road outside their home is DANGEROUS
An alarmingly high number of children say they have been hit by a vehicle, or narrowly escaped being hit, when on foot:
§ 10% of children say they HAVE BEEN HIT by a vehicle while on foot
§ 38% say they have NEARLY BEEN HIT
§ 59% of children KNOW SOMEONE who has been killed or hurt in a crash, causing untold trauma to those children
Shockingly, in 2002, 83 children were killed on foot across the UK. Drivers on roads without speed enforcement continue to drive too fast and kill children. More than half of drivers - 59% - still break 30mph limits in residential areas, according to statistics released by the Department for Transport.
Slowing down by only a few miles an hour can make the difference between life and death. At 35mph a driver is twice as likely to kill a child they hit, compared with at 30mph. In heavily built-up areas and near schools it is vital to travel at a speed of 20mph or lower.
Lynne Jones MP said: “Getting up speed in residential areas and then having to decelerate sharply at junctions saves drivers in a hurry very little, if any, time and, as well as adding to the dangers faced by children and other pedestrians, is likely to cause unnecessary stress for the driver. It is time to consider whether the norm in side streets should be 20mph.”
Mary Williams OBE, chief executive of Brake, said: “These survey findings are no surprise given our appalling record of child pedestrian fatalities, and are terrible news for all parents who want a safe and happy environment for their children. We need urgent, extensive investment in more road safety engineering solutions and traffic enforcement to enable our most precious resource, our children, to walk to school and around their homes free from danger on the roads.”
FOR ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES, CONTACT BEN HEATLEY OR SARAH FATICA ON 01484 559909 OR MOBILE 07989 515 722 OR 07989 478436.