Call for 20mph urban limit to cut child road deaths

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Image caption, In 2009, 37 children were killed in roads in the South East

Road safety campaigners are calling for 20mph speed limits in residential areas as a survey shows 86% of children in London think drivers go too fast.

The poll was conducted by the charity Brake of 2,630 children, aged nine to 13, in the London and the South East for Road Safety Week.

The survey also found 9% said they had been knocked down while walking or cycling and 55% have had a near miss.

Brake says a 20mph limit would help cut child road deaths to zero.

In 2009, 37 children were killed and 763 were seriously injured on roads in London and the South East, with 61% of these deaths and serious injuries being youngsters on foot or bicycle.

Earlier this year research highlighted children in some London boroughs were among the most at risk in the country from traffic, while other boroughs have some of the lowest child road casualty rates in the country.

Brake is calling on the government to put in place a strategy to continue bringing child deaths and serious injuries down - with a long-term goal to reduce them to zero.

The charity believes lowering the default urban limit to 20mph and ensuring speed limits are enforced are key steps towards this.

Brake's Julie Townsend said: "It is unacceptable that so many children die and suffer appalling injuries on our roads.

"All drivers have a part to play in making our roads safer for children, and one of the best ways we can do this is to slow down to 20mph or below around schools and homes.

"If you do, you have good chance of being able to stop in time if a child runs out in front of you, and you're helping to make our communities greener, more pleasant, and more family-friendly."

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