Local MP supporting Road Safety Week campaign

November 1, 2007 9:44 AM
Road Safety Week

Mark is campaigning for Road Safety Week

Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle, is joining Road Safety Week calls by Brake, the road safety charity, for urgent action to stop child death and injury on foot and bike on North West roads.

As part of the campaign Brake, the road safety charity has today released the shocking results of a recent survey which reveals that six in ten children (62%) in the North West feel plagued by fast traffic in their community; six in ten (61%) feel that even the roads around their schools are dangerous; and four in ten (41%) know someone who's been knocked down. The views of these children are backed up by their teachers, six in ten (61%) of whom said there were dangerous roads near their schools.

Government statistics uncovered by Brake reveal the appalling extent of deaths and injuries among the regions children on foot and bike. In 2006 alone, 434 children aged under 16 were killed or seriously injured while walking or cycling on North West roads - that's eight every week.[1] In fact across the UK, child road deaths rose sharply between 2005 and 2006, after falling steadily over the past decade. Between 2005-6 child pedestrian deaths rose from 69 to 75, while child cyclist deaths rose from 23 to 31 and total child road deaths (on foot, bicycle and in vehicles) rose from 156 to 178. This last figure shows a 14% increase between 2005-6.[2]

Mark Hunter MP says: "The results of Brake's survey are truly shocking. That the children themselves consider the roads in their community and near their schools to be unsafe should worry not only parents but should spur the Government into action.

The Government statistics are even more shocking. That the number of "child road deaths" have increased by 14% over the last year is intensely worrying and must act as a wake-up call to the Government that they need to act now to protect children on the road.

Every child who dies on the road is a tragedy and every one is one too many. I am calling for the Government to protect local children by; creating more 20 mph zones around schools and homes, introducing road safety education in all schools, and for the Government to set challenging child road injury and death reduction targets."

Cathy Keeler, head of campaigns at Brake, says: "Fast traffic blights children's lives and kills. In a civilised society it is a disgrace that we allow children to die on roads. Every death is horrific and devastating. TV campaigns and central government guidance to local authorities to introduce child safety measures are not enough. We need more Government investment in 20mph safety zones around schools and homes in all communities, comprehensive enforcement of these zones, and all drivers to understand that it is simply shameful to drive any faster in these areas. This will stop deaths and transform communities."

To get involved in Road Safety Week 2007, please visit www.roadsafetyweek.org for resources, ideas and advice on teaching lifesaving lessons in the classrooms and community groups. Also visit www.brake.org.uk to sign the petition for 20 mph zones, or to call the Zak the Zebra hotline to name and shame dangerous roads in the area.

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