Hundreds of fleet operators are getting involved in Road Safety Week 2010, co-ordinated by road safety charity Brake, helping to raise awareness about the vital importance of slowing down in communities.
A national survey of 15,000 9-13 year-olds launched for Road Safety Week by Brake and business insurance specialist QBE finds that almost nine in 10 children (86%) think drivers go too fast around their homes and schools. Shockingly, one in 10 children (10%) say they have been knocked down while walking or cycling; a further 56% have had a near miss, and 16% more have had a frightening experience with traffic.
Fleet operators, schools and communities across the UK are joining Brake’s campaign calling on drivers to slow down to 20mph or below around schools, homes and shops. At 20mph, drivers have a good chance of stopping in time if a child runs out three car lengths in front. Any faster than this, they would hit the child and have a significant chance of killing or maiming them.
Many fleet operators are backing the campaign by getting the message across to their drivers about the importance of slowing down, particularly to safeguard children.
In 2009, 195 children under 18 were killed and 4,188 were seriously injured on UK roads – that’s 12 deaths and serious injuries every day. 59% of these deaths and serious injuries were children on foot and bicycle. Although the UK has the second lowest road death rate in the EU, our child pedestrian death rate is worse than 10 other EU countries, and eight times higher than Sweden’s.
Brake is calling on the Government to put in place a strategy and targets to continue bringing child deaths and serious injuries down – with a long term goal to reduce them to zero – and to make communities safer for families to walk and cycle without fear of fast traffic. Brake believes that lowering the default urban limit to 20mph and ensuring speed limits are enforced are key steps towards this.
More results from Brake and QBE’s survey of children:
- 61% of 9-11 year olds and 67% of 11-13 year-olds (64% overall) think the roads around their home and school are dangerous for people on foot and bicycle
- 6% of 9-11 year-old kids and 13% of 11-13 year-olds (10% overall) say they have been hit by a vehicle when walking or cycling.
- 50% of 9-11 year-old kids and 61% of 11-13 year-olds (56% overall) say they have had a near-miss walking or cycling.
The survey will be presented to Downing Street as part of the launch of Road Safety Week, which will also see protests at schools around the country with children and bereaved families appealing to drivers to slow down in their communities.
Julie Townsend, campaigns director at Brake, says: “It is shocking and unacceptable that so many children die and suffer appalling injuries on our roads. One of the best ways we can protect children is by slowing down to 20mph in communities – this simple step means you have a good chance of being able to stop in time if a child runs out, and it helps to make our communities safer, greener and more family-friendly. We’re delighted that so many fleets are backing our Road Safety Week campaign by getting this important message across to their drivers and the wider public. I’d urge other fleet operators who aren’t already involved to log onto the Road Safety Week website and make use of our online fleet action pack, which can help fleet operators year-round to play their part in saving lives on our roads.”
Read more about the Road Safety Week ‘kids say slow down’ campaign: