Tackling road danger at its source is key to reducing the number of children killed and seriously injured on UK roads, according to a new road safety film.
Developed by the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) and narrated by the BBC News world affairs editor John Simpson, the 40-minute film, titled ‘Stop Killing our Children’, examines how road safety is an issue for all road users, whatever age and mode of travel.
The film highlights the need to reduce the number of cars on the road – and to tackle road danger at its source, rather than blaming the victim.
John Simpson said: “Of the 23,500 road casualties in 2016, over a quarter were children.
“In the same year, drivers killed over 40 people walking on a pavement or a verge.
“It’s a level of carnage which results in surprisingly little public outrage.”
The film includes interviews with Chris Boardman, cycling and walking commissioner for Greater Manchester, and Dr Rachel Aldred, reader in transport at the University of Westminster.
Dr Rachel Aldred said: “We need to look at why we’ve created a society where it’s not seen as safe for children to play in their own streets because of motor vehicles.
“We need to change that lens and look at the source of danger – rather than say what did the victim do wrong.”
Chris Boardman discusses the need to create safe and connected spaces to encourage people to swap short car journey for more sustainable modes of transport.
The film also speaks to the founders of the Stop de Kindermoord (stop the child murder) movement, set up in the Netherlands in the 1970s to reduce the number of child road casualties.
Members held bicycle demonstrations, occupied collision blackspots, and organised special days during which streets were closed to allow children to play safely – all of which are seen in the UK today.
Maartje van Putten, Stop de Kindermoord’s first president, explains how the group helped to bring around a change in mindset, resulting in authorities designing cities with people in mind – not cars.