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‘Twenty is plenty’: Brake urge road caution as kids go back to school

By Kyle Linsay
Monday, September 2, 2013 - 11:00

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SLOW: Brake urge driver caution

Brake and Direct Line are urging drivers to make streets safer for children, by slowing down to 20mph around homes, shops and schools.

Research reveals that although drivers claim they want safer streets for kids, many are not following this through by reducing their speed in local communities.

Nearly two thirds (64%) believe local traffic is too fast for the safety of walking or cycling children, with 65% urging action to boost safety around schools, homes and town centres.

However six in ten (63%) admit to driving at 35mph or faster in a 30 limit – and 29% do this at least once a week

Meanwhile, two thirds (67%) explained they feel pressure from other motorists to drive faster in built up areas, with 33% insisting they give in to such pressure.

Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive of Brake, said: “While it’s important kids and young people receive road safety education, it’s crucial that drivers take on the ultimate responsibility for protecting children on foot and bike.

“Our research shows there’s a contradiction in what some drivers say they want and the way they behave at the wheel.

“As well as campaigning for government and local authorities to do more to reduce speeds in communities to tackle pedestrian and cyclist casualties and create nicer places to live, we’re appealing to drivers everywhere to do their bit too.

“By slowing down to 20mph around homes, shops and schools, you’ll be helping to save lives, and enabling kids to walk and cycle more in their neighbourhoods.”

Five children under 16 are killed or seriously injured when walking or cycling every day in the UK.

Brake claim reducing vehicle speeds can make a massive difference to the safety of kids on foot and riding bikes.

At 20mph, drivers have much more time to react, to help them stop in time if they need to; for example if a child runs out into the road.

Through the GO 20 campaign, Brake are calling for 20mph limits to become the norm across built-up areas.

They are also calling for more safe pavements, paths and crossings, so children and adults can walk and cycle for their health and enjoyment without being or feeling endangered.

Rob Miles, Head of Motor at Direct Line, added: “Whilst parents can teach children how to cross the road safely and warn them of the dangers when they are out playing or walking to school, the lives of their loved ones are very much in the hands of drivers and whether or not they are willing to slow down.

“Speed limits are a maximum and not a ‘must do’.

“Drivers, and not just pedestrians, have a responsibility to gauge the conditions of the community they are driving through, and we urge motorists to drive as they’d want others to if their child was playing nearby.”

Image courtesy of EdinburghGreens, with thanks.

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