A new survey has revealed that as many as 30% of parents believe their children are in greater danger in the UK from speeding traffic than in most other European countries.
The poll by road safety charity Brake also found that 70% of mothers and fathers fear for their own safety whilst they are pedestrians. 83% were worried about the safety of children on streets around their homes because of fast traffic, while 91% would like drivers to go more slowly and carefully in their neighbourhood.
The survey, which questioned 2000 people, also revealed that 74% didn’t think enough was being done to slow down traffic around schools and community facilities, and that more should be done.
A spokesman for Brake said, "We all want to live in safe communities where everyone is able to get out and about. Unfortunately many children can't do this without having to negotiate streets plagued by fast traffic that poses a serious risk to their safety.”
Brake feels that drivers shouldn’t be driving more than 20mph when driving in communities, and should slow right down to that speed or even less so everyone, especially children, get to enjoy their local neighbourhood safely.
They are also calling on local authorities to follow the example set by places like Portsmouth, who recently put in place more widespread 20mph limit zones, which are a cost-effective way to help make communities safer and more family-friendly places.
In their ‘World report on road traffic injury prevention’ the World Health Organisation identify speed control as one of the various interventions likely to contribute to a reduction in road casualties.
Although parents take every precaution in teaching their children about road safety, the survey has revealed that parents realise that the lives of their loved ones are very much in the hands of drivers and whether or not they are willing to slow down.
Although local authorities are able to implement 20mph limits outside schools or on other roads where they feel it is appropriate the Road Safety Minister believes drivers have a responsibility to observe speed limits and drive safely, particularly where children are likely to be using the roads.
The first maximum speed limit was introduced in 1861 at 10mph and since the introduction, speed limits have been opposed from various sources, including motoring advocacy groups, anti-motoring groups and others who either consider them to be irrelevant, set too low or set too high.
By Ben Malkin
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