New figures have revealed that children’s road safety television advertising has been axed due to re-prioritising budgets.
Television adverts that educate young children about road safety have been airing since the 1960’s in a bid to bring down the number of accidents that occur on UK roads. Many of the adverts have been iconic and have successfully taught young children about potential road dangers.
Freedom of Information figures requested by driving safety charity, Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), showed that road safety campaigning has been cut by 80% from £19 million in 2008-09 to just £3.57 million in 2012-13. It has also been confirmed that road safety television adverts will no longer be shown in England due to budget cuts.
Some of the £3.57 million budget will be spent on cyclist safety, child and teenager safety and research into young drivers. However, most of the budget will be spent on motorcycle campaigns and drink-drive campaigns.
The news of the adverts being axed has angered organisations such as IAM and RAC as they believe public awareness programmes have reduced the amount of pedestrians that are killed on UK roads.
IAM director of policy Neil Greig said: “Right across the public sector road safety is being cut too hard and too quickly, despite the huge returns on investment.
“One life saved, saves the economy £1.7 million. £53,000 is a derisory amount to spend on national cycle safety campaigns. Until we have the right roads infrastructure in place, publicity and education campaigns are one of the few tools we have to help us save cyclists lives.
“£78,000 for children’s safety campaigns is virtually insignificant. If the government is serious about safety for these groups, these amounts must be increased. “
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By Amanda Bainbridge