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Children Join Campaign For Better Road Safety

Youngsters Urge Extension Of 20 Mph Zones In Safety Campaign


Thousands of children are taking to the streets in support of a new road safety campaign, with an increase in 20 mph zones one of their key demands.

They are taking part in the Giant Walking Bus initiative, which is being organised jointly by road safety charity Brake and webuyanycar.com.

It is seeking to lobby the government and raise awareness among drivers to make the streets safer for youngsters when they are walking or cycling, which can in turn help promote such activities as safe ways of being active and healthy.

A poll run by the two organisations found that many youngsters are worried about their safety on the roads at present, with 56 per cent concerned that they might be run over while out walking or riding. It also found 76 per cent want to be able to ride or walk more and 81 per cent believe drivers should move more slowly around schools and their homes.

The latter point is the focus of the campaign for more 20 mph zones, with Brake keen to see this made a default speed in urban areas.

Reflecting on the survey, the charity's deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: "The thousands of kids out on the streets today should send a clear message to everyone: kids want to be able to get out and walk and cycle, and by not making our streets safe, we are denying them the fun, active childhoods they deserve."

A Department for Transport spokesman said that the government has already taken steps to make it easier for local authorities to introduce 20 mph zones, although he said the final decisions on these are up to each council.

He also said the government is keen to discourage dangerous driving through measures such as increased fines.

This comment comes after ministers announced plans this week to allow magistrates to levy larger fines than the current maximum figures, with this applying to motoring violations as well as other offences.

As well as speeding, higher penalties will also be imposed for other dangerous and illegal practices such as using a mobile phone while driving.

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