To coincide with the launch of the Second UN Global Road Safety Week (6-12 May), Brake has published a survey showing that 77% of teachers feel compelled to actively campaign to make local roads safer for children.
Brake says that the survey of 500 UK primary schools published today (7 May) reveals that teachers are “deeply concerned” about pupils’ ability to walk or cycle safely to school. Brake says the survey results add to “growing calls for all communities to ‘GO 20’ by switching to 20mph limits”.
The survey showed that 92% of schools think local roads need to be made safer for children to walk and cycle; 81% want 20mph limits around the school and on routes connecting the school with local homes, while 12% say they already have 20mph limits.
During the Second UN Global Road Safety Week, Brake, alongside a ‘GO 20’ coalition of 11 charities, is calling for steps to enable children to walk or cycle without fear or threat from fast traffic. The steps the partners are lobbying for include asking the Government to work towards 20mph being the norm in all communities; more local authorities to implement 20mph limits across towns, cities and villages; and drivers to pledge to GO 20 or below around homes, schools and shops.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, said: “Schools know what’s important for kids, and they are telling us road safety is a massive issue for them. It’s telling that so many schools are actively campaigning for safer streets, showing there’s a lot more we can do to protect children’s right to walk and cycle safely.
“One of the best ways to protect kids on foot and bike is to slow maximum traffic speeds to 20mph around homes, schools and shops, to create a safe haven for walking and cycling.
“‘GOing 20’ makes our communities nicer places to be, enables people of all ages to get out and about on foot and bike, improves health, and saves lives. As the UN’s Global Road Safety Week kicks off, we are appealing to Government, local authorities and drivers around the UK to put children’s safety and wellbeing first, and GO 20.”
Commenting in a Brake press release, Stephen Hammond, road safety minister, said: “We want to see safe roads which meet the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists – that is why we want to see all councils looking at whether 20mph speed limits could help improve safety on their roads, particularly near schools and residential areas.
“Speed limits should be set by councils based on their local knowledge and the views of the local community, but to help councils further we have provided an online toolkit and new guidance to help them make the best decisions for their area.”