Mark puts his Brakes on for Road Safety Week

(November 24, 2010)

Mark is supporting Road Safety Week 2010 (22 – 28 November), organised by the charity Brake, and appealing to drivers in the area to slow down to 20mph around schools, homes and shops.

At 20mph, you have a good chance of stopping in time if a child runs out three car lengths in front of you. Any faster than this, you would hit the child and have a significant chance of killing or maiming them[1].

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. Six in ten (59%) of these deaths and serious injuries were children on foot and bicycle. [2]

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. [3]

Mark is also calling on the Government to act by signing a petition for MPs who support Road Safety Week. The petitioners are calling on the Government to put in place challenging targets to bring down child deaths and injuries on the road and to lower the default urban limit to 20mph to make communities safer for families to walk and cycle without fear of fast traffic.

Mark said: “I support this campaign because I recognise the devastating effect that road deaths have on the families involved and on the wider community. It’s a problem that can, and must, be tackled through individuals making a commitment to slowing down in the community, and through Government policy to protect children as a priority.”

Julie Townsend, campaigns director for Brake, said: “We’re really pleased that Mark Hendrick MP is supporting Brake’s campaign to protect children in the community. It’s unacceptable that thousands of children are killed or maimed on UK roads each year. One of the best ways we can protect children is by slowing down, as it gives us more time to come to a stop in an emergency, such as if a child runs into the road. Driving at 20mph or less on roads around schools, homes and shops could be the difference between life and death for a child on foot or bike.”

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